Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday claimed no militant was killed in a recent encounter in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area.
“They (police) say there was a militant. Where is killed militant? Where is his photo? We believe there was no militant and three civilians were killed and after that, they were declared as OGW,” she said during a protest march against the Hyderpora incident.
She said people no longer seek justice but ask only for bodies.
Shouting slogans that the government should stop killing innocents, Mehbooba said they are saying four persons were killed in Hyderpora including a militant.
“We believe there was no militant? We have not seen any militant there? Was there really a militant or they just killed three innocent persons for the sake of it,” Mehbooba said.
“I want there should be a judicial probe. They seem to be used as a human shield as they had doubt there was a militant. But was there really a militant?” Mehbooba told reporters outside Rajbhawan Srinagar after she along with her daughter Iltija Mufti and dozens of party workers led a protest rally to Rajbhawan demanding a judicial probe in Hyderpora killings.
Her protest rally was stopped by the police outside Rajbhawan Srinagar, which is a few kilometres from her Fairview residence on the Gupkar road.
Mehbooba said the government has an agenda to crush minorities and Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim majority state and it is facing the brunt. “We don’t have the freedom to speak and assemble,” she said.
She said even the family members who were protesting were evicted in the dead of the night. “They should be ashamed of themselves. People in Kashmir don’t ask for justice, they are now asking for bodies only,” she added. “Had Kashmiris ever thought that they will have to beg for bodies of their kith and kin?
Altaf Ahmad Bhat, 40, and Dr Mudasir Gul, both residents of Srinagar, were killed along with Aamir Ahmad Magray, a resident of Jammu’s Ramban district by the police and the army in what family says in a “fake encounter” at Hyderpora bypass on Monday evening. Bhat and Dr Mudasir were two businessmen and Magray was a helper of Dr Mudasir.
Bhat had a commercial complex at Hyderpora. On the ground floor of the building, Bhat was running several shops and while he had rented the first floor to Dr Mudasir. The police claim all three were killed in the operation that took place in the building. But according to the police’s own admissions, both Bhat and Dr Mudasir were called out by the police after assembling them at the one place along with other shopkeepers.
Police said Bhat was killed in the cross-firing and he was a civilian. Police, however, described both Dr Mudasir and Aamir as militant associates. The allegations are denied by their families. All the families say the three have been killed in a staged encounter.
The police had secretly buried the bodies without showing any of them to their family member in a remote border village of Wudarbala Zachaldara in North Kashmir's Handwara area nearly 120 km from Srinagar.
However, after intense protests by the family and condemnation from political groups, the police returned the bodies of Bhat and Dr Mudasir on Thursday night for burial. The police have not returned the body of Aamir so far.
The J&K Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the Hyderpora operation.