Srinagar: The J&K administration, along with police, have come under a barrage of criticism after the families of two civilians, including a doctor, demanded a probe and bodies returned for a decent burial after the recent Hyderpora encounter in which police said that they have killed a Pakistani terrorist and his three associates.
As protests were held across Kashmir, including by lawyers, civil society members, Omar Abdullah and his activists and Sajad Lone and his party workers, the government on Thursday, on the instructions of LG Manoj Sinha, for the first time ordered the exhuming the bodies from the distant Handwara graveyard and the bodies were handed over to the families during midnight.
Even in the sub-zero temperatures, despite the tight police cordon placed in large numbers to prevent the assembly of people, a large number of people came out and participated in the funeral procession. The family members of the third civilian Amir Magray have also demanded the exhuming of the body for a decent burial as the family has contested the police claim that Magray was a terrorist. State award bravery winner father of Amir Magray, Abdul Latief Magray, told media on Friday that his son was innocent and was working in doctor Mudasir Gul’s clinic. “Abdul Latief Magray said: “I have fought terrorists; how can my son be dubbed as a terrorist by the authorities.” He demanded stern action against the officer involved in this incident.
Doctor Mudasir Gul, Amir Magray and a local builder in the area Altaf Bhat were killed by police on Monday evening, along with a Pakistani terrorist whose name was Haider and police said that all the four were involved in militancy. Police said that they were OGWs and were working with the terrorist group. When the families of the victims decided to do a peaceful sitting at the press enclave Srinagar, the authorities forced them to break the protest by bundling them in police vehicles forcibly. This police action went viral on social media, triggering widespread protests and demands for a probe and magisterial inquiry became louder.
In order to douse the protests and rising anger, the office of LG Manoj Sinha on its twitter handle said, “The J-K administration reiterates its commitment (to) protecting lives of innocent civilians and it will ensure there is no injustice.” The exhumation was carried out in the evening in the presence of senior district officials.
However, till Friday evening, there was no call from the J&K administration to exhume his body like the other two civilians. It is in place to mention that since the spread of Covid-19, J&K government has not handed over the body of any terrorist or OGW to family members. This is for the first time that, under pressure from growing protests, the government has decided to exhume the bodies and hand over the bodies to the families for a decent burial.