People's intervention group demands high level inquiry into Hyderpora encounter
Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Mudasir Gul and Aamir Magray were among the four persons killed in the Hyderpora encounter on November 15
Janhastakshep, a people’s intervention group, has demanded a high-level inquiry into the alleged encounter that took place at Hyderpora locality of Srinagar on November 15, 2021, by a sitting judge no lower than of High Court, in addition to placing all the personnel involved in the encounter, including the Inspector General of Police, Vijay Kumar, under suspension to ensure non-interference in circumstances of the case.
Four people had been killed in Monday’s encounter in Hyderpora, Srinagar, and buried quickly by police in Handwara, 70 km away. Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Mudasir Gul and Aamir Magray were among the four persons killed in the Hyderpora encounter on November 15. The encounter reportedly took place at a shopping complex owned by Bhat, in Hyderpora area on the highway in Srinagar. The family members of Bhat, Gul and Aamir Magray have alleged that they were civilians and used as “human shields and killed in cold blood”. The fourth casualty in the encounter is said to be that of a Pakistani militant.
Bodies of Mohammad Altaf Bhat and Mudasir Gul, two civilians killed in the Hyderpora encounter, were handed over to their kin on Thursday night after they were exhumed following protests by family members that they were innocent and not linked to militancy as claimed by the police.
Magray’s body has not been exhumed or handed over. Magray’s father is a state bravery award winner for having helped in anti-insurgency operations. Ramban District Development Council chairperson Shamshad Shan warned of protests if the authorities did not hand over the body of Magray.
Janahastakshep noted in its statement that the Hyderpora encounter once again exposed the chicanery and deceit of the PM Narendra Modi-led BJP government for whom the utility of Kashmir lies only in as much as it is a convenient ploy to keep the communal embers burning in the rest of the country for reaping electoral dividends.
“The police version of the Hyderpora encounter is replete with contradictions and lies, even as it has been claimed in the eyewitness accounts, as also by the pro-Delhi Kashmiri politicians that the civilians killed in the encounter were used as human shield by the security forces,” stated Janahastakshep.
These are familiar tactics of the security forces in the valley, Jahastakshep underscored in its statement.
“In times when we are witness to attacks on the democratic rights of the people, it becomes imperative for all democratic sections of the society to raise their voice for demanding justice for the families of those killed in this encounter and the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir. Doing so is a necessary condition for protecting our own rights,” stated Janahastakshep in his statement.
On November 18, the Jammu and Kashmir government announced that a probe would be carried out into the encounter. Ordering a magisterial probe into the incident, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said, “A magisterial inquiry by officer of ADM rank has been ordered in Hyderpora encounter. Govt will take suitable action as soon as report is submitted in a time-bound manner. JK admin reiterates commitment of protecting lives of innocent civilians & it will ensure there is no injustice.”
Hours after the announcement, Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar Muhammad Aijaz Asad appointed additional district magistrate Khurshid Ahmad Shah as the inquiry officer.