Keralites killed in Kashmir: Two identified, two not yet

By Staff Correspondent,

Kochi: Two Keralites who were killed in encounter with the army in Kashmir in 2008 have been identified, according to reports. While the two were identified by their fingerprints, the other two are yet to be identified.

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Four Keralites were reportedly killed in encounter with the army in Kashmir between October 4 and 10, 2008. The dead bodies of Abdul Raheem and Muhammed Fayas were identified by their finger prints. The other two – Muhammed Yaseen and Muhammed Fayis – are yet to be identified. However, the NIA has not submitted the documents proving this in the special NIA Court in Kochi as the original documents are still with the government and not handed over to the NIA.

The court had ordered the NIA in August to prove that those killed in Kashmir were the accused Keralites. The NIA last week informed the court that though some officers had been to Kashmir, they could not collect any autopsy report or death certificate from the army authorities. They also reportedly stated that the dead bodies were reportedly said to be unidentified bodies. The dead bodies were buried in Kashmir itself and not brought to Kerala as the families of the dead did not express interest in it, according to reports.

Meanwhile, the court rejected the bail plea of two accused in the case early this week. The court rejected the bail plea of 14th accused Muhammed Navas and 19th accused Abdul Hameed, stating that the accused had done a serious crime and that granting bail would affect the investigation adversely. Navas and Hameed had been in judicial custody for the last two years. The NIA had strongly opposed the granting of bail.

Detailed investigation is going on in the case as per the court’s orders. The NIA had reportedly found that young men from Kerala were recruited for terrorist activities under the leadership of the prime accused Thadiyantavide Naseer and Sarfaras Navas. But the NIA is yet to find out those who provided them training and their financial source.

The Kerala-Kashmir terror case was the first case of terrorism to be taken over by the NIA in Kerala. Those accused in the case are also accused in several bomb blasts. The prime accused in this case Thadiyantavide Naseer is also the prime accused in the Bengaluru blast case. However, there have also been several doubts regarding the case, especially related to the news of four Keralites having been killed in Kashmir.

News about the encounter that came in the media, but different newspapers gave different versions. Some said that they were killed when trying to go to Pakistan for training, while some others said that the encounter took place when they were returning back to India after training in Pakistan. However, there was no proof that those killed were Keralites. Their photos, autopsy reports or death certificates were not provided. Nor had any been to Kashmir to identify them. In the meantime, the families of the so-called dead people announced that they did not want to see the dead bodies of the ‘terrorists’ and later it was reported that the families were threatened to say so. The NIA too had been saying till last week that the bodies had not been identified and that the agency could not collect death certificate or autopsy report from the army authorities. There were also doubts that the whole case would go weak as the identity of the dead persons was not proved. The finger print proof has come up among all these doubts and uncertainties.