SRINAGAR: Three fortnights after the controversial encounter at Hyderpora in Srinagar led to the killing of a dentist along with his employee a trader and a militant, a Ramban family is seeking the return of their slain son’s body. Amir Magrey, 20, lays buried in distant Handwara.
The family whose contributions to the counter-insurgency have been acknowledged by the rewards to Amir’s father, Lateef, held a symbolic protest in Sangaldhan belt on the weekend. Amir was working as an office boy with the dentist, Mudasir Gul, whose realty estate firm was operating from the premises that trader, Altaf Ahmad Bhat owned. All three were killed in the operation along with an unidentified person, whom police have said was a militant.
The Magray family has alleged that police have not been supportive of their demand of return of the mortal remains. The police have permitted exhumation of two bodies of Altaf Ahmad and Dr Gull and their re-burial in their ancestral graveyards in Srinagar.
The Ramban family said they will continue their struggle to get the body back. They insist that Amir had gone to earn his livelihood and there was no possibility of him getting involved with militancy. Police have reiterated that Amir was an overground worker.
Jammu and Kashmir administration has announced a magisterial enquiry as police are carrying out a parallel investigation led by a DIG rank officer. Reports appearing in the media suggest that the magisterial probe has either been completed or is about to get completed but there is no official confirmation.
Early December, United Nations Human Rights Office spokesperson Rupert Colville had called for an effective investigation in the killings. “Civilians have been killed by security forces in the course of counter-terrorism operations, and their bodies on occasion disposed in secret, Colville had said in a statement. “One of these incidents happened on 15 November when four people were killed in a reported gunfight in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area, including two civilians.” He had called for a “prompt, thorough, transparent, independent and effective investigations into all killings of civilians.”
The MEA Spokesman in Delhi, Arindam Bagchi rejected the statement. “We have seen the statement made by the Spokesperson of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on specific incidents in Jammu and Kashmir. The statement makes baseless and unfounded allegations against law enforcement authorities and security forces of India,” he said.
Now, reports suggest a group of 28 members of the British Parliament, the House of Commons, mostly members of the different parties, have written a 2-page letter to India’s High Commissioner in London, Giatri Issar Das about the state of human rights in Kashmir in which the Hyderpora encounter has been highlighted. It mentions “alarming reports” of alleged “fake encounters” and has sought the justification for denying families the mortal remains of the slain. The lawmakers have sought a transparent enquiry.