The Jammu and Kashmir police --- investigating the alleged killing of three youth from north Kashmir's Nadihal area in a "fake" encounter in Machil area near the Line of Control on April 30 --- have sent a detailed investigation report to the army and collected the DNA of the slain youths to be sent to the CFSL in New Delhi soon.
The police are likely to seek custody of the Major of the army's Rajputana unit for questioning within two days, sources said.
"We are likely to write to the Army in the next two days to seek custody of the Major who had led operation for questioning," said a police official, barred from revealing his name to the media.
The police fear that the custody of the Major might not be possible if the Army invokes Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). If the AFSPA is invoked, the army can try the accused unit under the Army Act invoking Court Martial.
In the past, the army invoked AFSPA in infamous cases like Pathribal and Doodhipora where fingers were pointed at the army for killing of civilians.
The Major, whose name has come up in the Machil encounter, was working as G-2 of the Army intelligence in Baramulla before his posting to Kalaroos Kupwara with 4-Rajput. The unit was moved out of the area immediately after the encounter took place in April 30.
On April 27, three youth from Nadihal Rafiabad went missing. Their families claimed the bodies, which the army claimed to have been killed in an encounter on the April 30 Machil encounter, were their relatives ---identified as Muhammad Shafi 19, Shezad Ahmad 25 and Riyaz Ahmad 19, all residents of Nadihal.
The army, sources said, had asked the police post Kalaroos to record the encounter as joint operation but the police refused. The police record show the operation was launched by an army unit led by a Major.
Later, the police sources arrested Abbas Shah, working with 161 Battalion of the army's Territorial Army among other three suspects in the case. Shah is a resident of Kalakote, Uri in north Kashmir, next to the district where the "encounter" occurred.
The incident has sparked protests across the district and separatists are cashing in on the anger triggered by the killings. Separatist leaders have announced a major protest campaign against the incident.