Jammu and Kashmir government has declared all the five persons - whose bodies were exhumed from Ganderbal last week - as civilians. The government has sanctioned ex-gratia relief in favour of the families of all the victims. A government job would also be provided to one member of each family of the victims. These persons were allegedly killed in fake encounters by the men of special operation group (SOG) and the troops of Rashtriya Rifles in Ganderbal area and had projected them as Pakistani cadres of Lashkar-e-Toiba.
"The ex-gratia relief has been sanctioned in favour of the families of all the victims. We have already paid Rs one lakh as ex-gratia relief to the family of Abdul Rahman Paddar," said additional deputy commissioner of Anantnag, Jaipal Singh. He said that the cases of other victims were also under process and their families would be paid the ex-gratia very soon. He said that the families of victims would be entitled to all the statutory benefits approved by the government including government job.
Abdul Rahman Paddar, a carpenter of Larnoo Kokernag in south Kashmir had gone missing on December 8 last year from Batamaloo locality of Srinagar. His family lodged complaint with Police, who during investigations stumbled on startling evidence that Paddar had been killed in a fake encounter by SOG and had been buried as a Pakistani commander Abu Hafeez of Lashkar-e-Toiba in Sumbal. The arrest and interrogation of two SOG men, ASI Farooq Ahmad Guddu and senior grade constable Farooq Ahmad Paddar involved in the carpenter's killing, led the police to the shocking exposure of four other persons having been killed in the same fashion.
Police exhumed bodies of all the five persons from Sumbal, Ganderbal, Ajas, Bazipora and Kangan, and after identification by their families and relatives, they were handed over to them for burial in their respective villages. The four other bodies were identified that of Nazir Ahmad Deka (a perfume-vendor of Daksum Kokernag), Ghulam Nabbi Wani (a street vendor of Matigawran Kokernag), Ali Mohammad Paddar (a government employee of Larnoo Kokernag) and Shoukat Ahmad Katariya (an Imam of Doligam Banihal).
The bodies were dug out in presence of two senior DNA experts from Chandigarh who collected samples from the slain persons and their parents to establish their identity. Even as the DNA report is still awaited, the government declared all the five persons as civilians and sanctioned ex-gratia and other relief for the families of the victims.
"It is quite established that they (slain persons) are civilians. The DNA test is just a formality," said a senior officer.