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Families of Kashmiri men killed in raid removed from protest site

Families of Kashmiri men killed in raid removed from protest site

Humaira Mudasir and her infant daughter at the protest site (Credit: Umer Asif via The Kashmir Walla)

The families of two Kashmiri civilians killed in a terrorist encounter in Srinagar on Monday have been removed from their protest site by the police, after days of demanding the police return the bodies of the two men. Altaf Bhat and Mudasir Gul were allegedly shot dead by terrorists during the encounter in Hyderpora.

Police in armoured trucks arrived at the place where the families of the deceased were protesting and forcibly removed them according to an NDTV report. The family members told NDTV that a police officer had approached them with assurances that the bodies would be returned but that the police arrived to take them away soon after.

Police statements have branded Gul, a dental surgeon, and Altaf, a businessman by trade, as in league with the terrorists who were allegedly staying in a rented room. Initial police testimony said that the men were shot dead by terrorists but later reports suggest they may have been caught in the crossfire. The families of both men have vehemently denied accusations. The police said Mudasir was living in a rented room in a building where the encounter took place and that he had allowed slain militant Haider to use his rented room as a hideout. Police also said that Mudasir had ferried Haider in a vehicle from Jamalata area of Srinagar where security officials were injured in militant firing.

Both bodies were buried in the area 100 km from Srinagar along with those of the militants as police refused to hand them over citing law and order issues. A viral video of Altaf Bhat's 13-year old daughter showed her describing police as mocking her tearful reaction to her father's death.

"II am only asking for the body of my husband... I don't need anything else. I want to see his face. I want to touch his feet and seek forgiveness. I want to see him one last time and give a proper burial to my husband," said Humaira Mudasir, Mudasir Gul's wife. She was accompanied by her 18-month-old baby.

The case has invoked strong reactions in the public and in politics as former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti alleged that she had been denied permission to join the family at their protest site, instead staging a separate protest of her own at Jammu. National Conference Chief Omar Abdullah decried the police force's apathy and said that denial of burial was a 'crime against humanity'.

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TAGS:Jammu KashmirmilitantsTerrorism#Civilians killedIndiaMehbooba MuftiKashmir issue
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