Was Used As Human Shield, Has No Links With Militant Group: Kin Of Terrorist

Srinagar : Kin of a terrorist killed in an encounter at Srinagar, said that he was used as a ‘human shield’ and has no links with the militant group. A civilian was also killed in the encounter that took place late Monday.

On Monday night the family of the civilian named Mohammad Altaf, staged protests demanding his body to be handed over. For the last two years, police in Kashmir do not hand over the bodies of militants killed in encounters to the family for last rites citing their funerals create a law and order situation.

Police officials said that the house owner was injured in a terrorist fire and later succumbed to his injuries. “Terrorists have been hiding on the top floor of the building. As per source and digital evidence, he has been working as a terror associate. Search is still going on,” said Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir.

According to police the encounter took place at security forces and militants near Classic Hospital in Hyderpora area of ​​the city. Two terrorists were killed in the operation, while a civilian succumbed to his injuries after the terrorist caught fire, confirmed IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar.

The family alleged Bhat, a shopkeeper who owns a multi-storey building on Hyderpora where militants were apparently killed, was used as a human shield during the gunbattle. He had no links with any militant organisation, it said.

Saima Bhat, the slain man’s niece, said her uncle was an innocent man and not involved in any militant activity. “My uncle has been murdered. He was used as a human shield in a staged encounter. He runs a hardware shop and owns the complex where the forces had come for checking,” she said.

“There was no gunfight in that complex. He was taken thrice inside the building as a human shield for searches and when they couldn’t find anything, he was killed there,” she added. Saima and a few family members even tweeted to express their resentment and demanded the body be returned to the family for burial.

She said police are not giving back the body of her uncle by terming him as an Over Ground Worker (OGW) or “militant associate”.

In a tweet last night, police quoting Inspector General of Police (Kashmir zone), Vijay Kumar had said that Bhat “in whose building militants were hiding” was injured in a militant firing and later succumbed to his injuries.

As per source and digital evidence, the house owner was working as a militant associate, he said.

“#SrinagarEncounterUpdate: The house owner who was injured in the terrorist fire, succumbed to his injuries. #Terrorists have been hiding on the top floor of his building. As per source and digital evidence, he has been working as #terror associate. Search is still going on: IGP Kashmir (sic),” the official Kashmir zone police tweeted.

Police had surrounded the Hyderpora locality in the evening and within a few hours said it killed two unidentified militants in the gunfight. “During the ensuing encounter, two unidentified militants were killed, while a search operation was going on,” police tweeted a second time.

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