Families of civilians killed in Srinagar encounter want bodies to be returned

Police buried bodies 100 km away citing “law and order concerns”

Srinagar:

The families of Mudasir Gul and Ataf Bhat – two businessmen killed during a controversial encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Hyderpora this week – lashed out at a protest on Wednesday and light a candle to demand the return of their bodies. The cold suffered, so that relatives could give them a proper burial.

Among those protesting were elderly persons, and they held placards demanding justice. The family members told NDTV that a police officer met them and assured them that the bodies would be returned.

A family member said, “The officer said the body would be given and asked us to leave. We told him, ‘Give it in writing, the bodies will be returned’. He said that he would talk to a senior officer. Will come back after that.”

A distraught Humaira Mudasir, who is Dr Gul’s wife, said: “I am only asking for my husband’s body… I don’t want anything else. I want to see his face. I want to touch his feet and Apologize. I want to see him one last time and give my husband a proper burial.”

He also had an 18-month-old baby with Humaira.

In a heartwarming video, which has been widely circulated online, Altaf Bhat’s 13-year-old daughter describes the moment she learned about her father’s death in tears. She narrates how some policemen started laughing when she asked them why her father was killed.

Altaf Bhat, a prominent local businessman and Dr Mudasir Gul, a dentist, were killed during a controversial anti-terrorist operation in Hyderpora on Monday. The police initially claimed that they were shot by the terrorists but later claimed that they may have been killed in the crossfire.

Police also claimed that the two men were “terrorist associates” – a charge that provoked a furious reaction from family members and critics of the Jammu and Kashmir administration.

The families alleged that Mr Bhat and Dr Gul were killed in cold blood, as was a third person – Amir Magrey – who was called a “hybrid terrorist” by the police – working as an assistant in the doctor’s office. Was.

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Magrey’s father Abdul Latif Magrey insisted that his son was killed in a planned encounter.

Magrey is an anti-terrorist warrior from a remote village in Ramban district, who made headlines in 2005 after killing a terrorist with a stone. He is the recipient of an Army Citation and has spoken about how he raised his children by “keeping them”. in secret places”.

He sadly said, “The denial of my son’s body is the reward for our fight against terrorists. I still have security forces at home – tomorrow they can kill me and claim I was a terrorist.”

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Police said two pistols were recovered from the encounter site in Hyderpora.

All the bodies were buried in Handwara, which is more than 100 km from Srinagar, as the police refused to hand over the bodies due to “law and order problems”.

The entire incident has triggered an angry reaction from mainstream political leaders including National Conference chief Omar Abdullah. The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said that denying the family the right to bury the dead is a crime against humanity.

Another former chief minister, PDP boss Mehbooba Mufti. Protested himself in Jammu demanding justice and a fair investigation into the killings. Her party said that it wanted to join the families at their protest site but the police refused to do so.

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