J&K: Police Detain Slain Civilians Kin Demanding Return of Bodies

The police detained the families of Dr Mudasir Gul and Altaf Bhat on Wednesday, the two civilians who were killed in an encounter in the Hyderpora area of Srinagar on Monday, according to reports.

Sitting on a candle night vigil as part of their demonstration at Srinagar’s Press Enclave, the families demanded the police to return the bodies of the deceased for their last rites. However, they were allegedly forcibly removed from the protest site and taken into police vehicles, NDTV reported.

The family members, who were holding placards, demanding justice said that a police personnel visited them and assured that the bodies would be returned and asked them to leave from the protest site, according to reports by NDTV.

A family member told NDTV, “We told her, ‘give it in writing the bodies will be returned’. She said she would get back after talking to a senior officer.”

Later, the armed police officers in armoured trucks came to the place and allegedly dragged them from the protest site. Several reports suggest that even electricity had being cut in the area.

Talking to the Hindu, Saima Bhat, a journalist whose uncle is among the victims, said, “I have worked in Press Enclave for last 11 years and never has electricity been snapped for such a long time. We are demanding the least.”

On Tuesday, the J&K authorities had buried their bodies in far-flung Handwara, Greater Kashmir reported.

On Monday, four persons, including two civilians, were killed in an encounter in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area. However, family members of both the deceased are repudiating claims of the J&K Police, alleging that they were Over Ground Workers (OGW) killed in the crossfire.

Dr Mudasir Gul and Altaf Bhat owned shops in the commercial complex in the place where the encounter had taken place.

The police fired at their witnesses amidst the commotion, Altaf’s daughter said adding, “My cousin who was present at the scene, who gave them [the police] his statements, saw them kill the witnesses.”

Condemning the killings of civilians, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti and J&K National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that “using innocent civilians as human shields, getting them killed in cross-firing and then conveniently labelling them as OGWs is part of GOIs rulebook now.”

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