DNA tests to solve J&K murder mystery

Srinagar, January 30:

Police in Kashmir will conduct DNA tests on the body of a man buried a month ago in an attempt to solve a murder mystery allegedly involving corrupt counter-insurgency officers.

The body will be exhumed to determine whether he was a missing carpenter or a Muslim militant whom officers said they killed in a gun battle.

Security forces, battling an insurgency in Kashmir, have long been accused of shooting civilians and claiming they are militants to earn cash and promotions as rewards.

The suspected victim, Abdul Rahman Padder, went missing on December 8 soon after arriving at Srinagar, the summer capital of the Himalayan state.

Newspaper reports said Padder, a father of five, was arrested by counter-insurgency police in Srinagar and then killed in a neighbouring district on December 9.

The body was buried in a graveyard in the same district.

Two policemen, who were rewarded with cash and honours after the alleged gunbattle, have been arrested over the incident.

“I have ordered immediate exhumation of the body,” senior state government official Bashir Khan told reporters.

The Kashmir state government has ordered a high-level probe into the incident, and Khan said an eight-member team will supervise the exhumation and collection of samples for DNA testing.

“Blood samples will also be collected from the relatives of Padder, including his children to see if they match with the samples from the body,” a police officer told AFP.