Srinagar, Aug. 30: A controversy is brewing in Kashmir after the army allegedly re-enacted scenes of an encounter for TV channels, hours after the actual gunfight at Ganderbal district.
Five Hizb-ul Mujahideen militants were killed in the encounter with security forces overnight at Najawan forests in Ganderbal, 35km from Srinagar. However, the scenes of the encounter were allegedly re-enacted several hours later during daylight today.
The footage, aired by several national channels, shows purported scenes of the encounter.
Army spokesperson Naresh Vij questioned the footage aired saying no channel was present when the encounter took place.
“Who knows what they (TV channels) are showing. Nothing happened (was re-enacted) there (after the encounter)…. How can any channel be present there? The encounter took place at 1.30am,” Vij told The Telegraph.
A TV reporter who refused to record the “fake scenes” said hundreds of bullets were spent in the re-enactment, around 3km from the site of real encounter.
“Some TV reporters were taken to a nearby willow field close to Wussan camp where the scenes were re-enacted. Hundreds of bullets were fired as these channels captured the footage. The actual encounter took place during the night but the footage aired is of daylight,” he said.
“Many civilians in the area also witnessed it.”
A statement from the army’s 15 Corps also appeared to cast apprehensions on the footage.
The statement said the encounter lasted till around 3.30am, while the footage is one of daytime.
“Contact with the terrorists was established at 1.30am on 30 Aug 13. On being challenged by the troops, terrorists fired back. A heavy firefight ensued, lasting for over two hours,” the statement said.
The encounter, nevertheless, is seen as a big breakthrough for the security forces as the five slain militants included a dreaded Hizb-ul commander, Asadullah.