Hyderpora killings: After exhumation, bodies of two civilians buried in Srinagar
The bodies of two civilians killed in Monday’s gunfight in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area were buried in the city after they were exhumed from a graveyard in Handwara, around 70km away, and handed over to their families late on Wednesday amid protests in the Valley.
Businessmen Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Mudasir Gul were killed along with two terrorists in the gunfight in Hyderpora. Police maintained that the two men were “overground workers” of terror outfits and were killed in the crossfire. But their families said that the two were used as human shields and called the killings “cold-blooded murders”. Police buried Bhat and Gul in Handwara in the absence of their families, citing “law and order concerns”.
The bodies were exhumed in presence of a magistrate and handed over to the families around midnight for burial. Officials asked families to restrict the burial rites to close relatives and sought assurances from them. Heavy police deployments were made around the houses of Dar and Gul.
Inspector general (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said there would not be any restrictions in Srinagar.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration separately ordered a magisterial probe into the gunfight on Wednesday.
The families of the two civilians staged a sit-in in Srinagar on Wednesday and held a candlelight vigil after the day-long protest, demanding that the bodies of the two men be handed to them. They were forcibly removed from the site around midnight.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday also staged a sit-in demanding the return of the bodies.
“We are sitting here peacefully. If we wanted, we would have blocked roads, bridges, but no. There has been no sloganeering, no law and order disturbance and no road has been blocked. We are not raising a voice against the government, we just demand that the bodies be returned,” he said.
Another former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti accused the Centre of being “inhuman” and said she was put under house arrest again.
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said he will write to the president of India for a judicial inquiry.