Hyderpora encounter, After protests erupted across the Valley on Monday, the J&K administration unearthed the bodies of two people killed in a gunfight with police and ordered a magisterial probe.
The bodies of Altaf Bhat, a businessman, and Dr Mudassir Gul, a dentist, were not handed over to their relatives until late Thursday night.
In Monday’s encounter in Srinagar’s Hyderpora, four persons were slain and promptly buried by police in Handwara, 70 kilometres away. Three of them (one of them was purportedly a Pakistani) had family members contradict police assertions that they were terrorists or had links to extremists.
The agitation by family members of the civilians slain in Srinagar on Wednesday midnight, seeking their corpses, was forcibly ended by police, fueling riots across Kashmir.
Magray’s body has not yet been exhumed. Abdul Latief Magray, a state bravery award winner, told The Indian Express on Wednesday that his son worked for Gul as an office staffer. “How can my son be a militant when I battled against them during the area’s peak militancy?” the 58-year-old said.
The J&K Police established a policy of not returning militants’ remains to their families at the start of the epidemic last year when intelligence officials expressed worry about large militant funerals.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced on Thursday that the gunfight would be investigated by a magisterial panel, with a report due in 15 days. The LG’s office released a statement saying, “The J-K administration reiterates its commitment (to) protecting the lives of innocent civilians and will ensure there is no injustice.” In the presence of senior district officials, the exhumation was carried out in the evening.
The relatives of Bhat and Gul said that tombs had been prepared in their family cemeteries for their burial. According to police sources, the bodies would most likely be delivered after midnight to avoid a big funeral and any potential law and order issues.