News Brief

Jammu-Kashmir: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Meets Families Amidst Alleged Custodial Death Claims, Pledges Accountability

Nayan Dwivedi

Dec 27, 2023, 02:41 PM | Updated 02:41 PM IST

Rajnath Singh in Jammu-Kashmir
Rajnath Singh in Jammu-Kashmir

In a significant move, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met with six representatives from families claiming their relatives were killed in custody in the Topa Pir village of Jammu & Kashmir.

The families were brought to Rajouri town by administration-arranged vehicles, accompanied by local officials, reported Indian Express.

This comes after senior army officers, including Brigadier M P Singh and the commanding officer of the 16 Rashtriya Rifles, visited the homes of the affected families within the last 24 hours.

During the meeting, the families shared their concerns and stressed the need for a thorough investigation into the alleged custodial deaths of their family members.

The officers had previously assured the families of strict action against those found responsible for the deaths.

The civilians in question were reportedly detained by security forces for questioning following a militant attack on army vehicles in the area.

Subsequently, three individuals from Topa Pir village allegedly died in custody, and five others from the Thanamandi area were hospitalised with injuries.

In response to the incident, the district administration has promised compensation, offering Rs 30 lakh, a government job, and a 10-marla plot in Surankote to the next of kin of each deceased individual.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Jammu & Kashmir holds significance, marking his first trip since the tragic encounter that resulted in the killing of five Army soldiers, including two Captains, in Rajouri’s Kandi area last month.

During his visit, the Defence Minister is expected to receive briefings from senior army officers on the ground situation in Rajouri and Poonch districts.

Additionally, he will conduct a review of the border situation before returning to Delhi.

Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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