Bodies Of Two Civilians Killed In Hyderpora Encounter Cremated

Srinagar : Bodies of Mohammad Altaf Bhat and Mudasir Gul, two civilians killed in the Hyderpora encounter, were cremated by their family members. The bodies, which were exhumed at Handwara after sundown on Thursday, reached Srinagar around midnight, the officials said.

The Officials said that they got to witness an emotional scenario at the residences of Bhat and Gul as soon as their bodies reached Barzulla and Pirbagh. Family Members and relatives were waiting for the bodies broke down, to get the last glimpse of their loved one, before cremation.

After sometime, the bodies were taken out in processions to the local graveyards amidst chanting of religious verses. The authorities had told the families to limit the gathering and bury them quickly, the officials said. They said the bodies were laid to rest at their ancestral graveyards in Barzulla and Pirbagh after funeral prayers were held.

For the first time since COVID outbreak the body of a person buried under police watch was returned to their kin.

This exhumation came amid a lot of family pressure from the families of the deceased and from the politicians including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, and civil society groups.

“We will look into the demands of the families. We are open to correction if anything has gone wrong. A police probe will also find out what went wrong,” Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh told NDTV. “We will find out what happened in the Hyderpora encounter. We are for the safety of people and will not shy away from a probe,” Mr Singh said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor’s office tweeted that it “will ensure there is no injustice.”

“A magisterial inquiry by officer of ADM rank has been ordered in Hyderpora encounter. The government will take suitable action as soon as a report is submitted in a time-bound manner. J&K administration reiterates commitment to protecting lives of innocent civilians and it will ensure there is no injustice,” the Lt Governor’s office tweeted.

Businessman Altaf Bhat and dental surgeon Mudasir Gul were killed during a controversial anti-terrorist operation in Hyderpora on Monday. Police initially claimed they were shot dead by terrorists, but later said they may have been killed in the crossfire.

The police officials had earlier stated that both the men were associated with the terror groups. This charge that provoked a furious reaction from family members and critics of the Jammu and Kashmir administration.

The families have alleged Altaf Bhat and Mudasir Gul were killed in cold blood, as was a third person – Amir Magray – whom the police called a “hybrid terrorist” and was allegedly working as a helper in the doctor’s office.

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