Police Say 2 Civilians Killed in J&K Supported Terrorists; Kin Denies Claim

Four, including two civilians and two militants, were killed by security forces in an encounter in Hyderpora.

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Four persons, including two civilians and two militants, were killed by the police and the security forces in an encounter in Srinagar's Hyderpora on Monday, 15 November.

The killed militants have been identified as Sameer Ahmad and Amir, as per news agency PTI.

The two deceased civilians, both business persons, have been accused of supporting terror activities by the police. The two, Dr Mudasir Gul and Altaf Bhat, had owned shops in the commercial complex at Hyderpora where the encounter had taken place.

The families of the two, however, have denied the police's claims.


Killed Civilians Were 'Terror Associates': What the Police Has Said

The Kashmir police, in a statement, said that the forces had received intelligence about the presence of terrorists at a call centre in Srinagar's Hyderpora. A cordon and search operation was subsequently launched.

The police said that the two civilians, who had accompanied the police to the building, were killed in the crossfire that had ensued between the security forces and the militants in Hyderpora.

Dr Mudasir Gul ran the computer centre, police officials indicated NDTV reported.

Altaf Bhat, who reportedly owned a hardware store and cement dealership, was a "terror associate," and had sheltered terrorists inside his commercial property, as per the police.

"The house owner who was injured in terrorist fire, succumbed to his injuries. Terrorists have been hiding on top floor of his building. As per source and digital evidence, he has been working as terror associate."
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar

"Recoveries and other digital evidence indicated that a fake call centre was established to provide logistic support to active terrorists," the police was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Incriminating materials, including arms and ammunition, three magazines, six mobile phones, diaries with codes, and a United States map were recovered from the site, the police said.


'Altaf Bhat Was Innocent, Was Used as a Human Shield': Kin of Deceased Deny Police Claims

Deceased Altaf Bhat's niece, Saima, has asserted that her uncle was innocent, and that he had been used as a human shield by the police. She further denied the police's claims suggesting that he was an overground worker for terror activities.

"You killed my innocent uncle Mohammad Altaf Bhat in cold blooded murder In Hyderpora, you used him as human shield and now saying he was “OGW”. return us his body," said Saima Bhat in a tweet.

The niece has also demanded the police return the body of Altaf Bhat to his family.

Meanwhile, a relative of Dr Mudasir Gul told NDTV:

"At 10 pm last night we heard Dr Mudasir was killed. Please do justice and give us his body. He was a dental surgeon and running his business in the complex in Hyderpora."

The police, however, have said that the bodies cannot he handed over to the families, in order to prevent a disruption of law and order. The police further indicated that the four bodies have been buried in the Handwara area of north Kashmir, NDTV reported.


'Using Innocent Civilians as Human Shields a Part of Govt's Rulebook': Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah Condemn Deaths

Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Omar Abdullah have condemned the killing of the civilians in the encounter on Monday.

"Using innocent civilians as human shields, getting them killed in cross firing & then conveniently labelling them as OGWs is part of GOIs rulebook now. Imperative that a credible judicial enquiry is done to bring out the truth & put an end to this rampant culture of impunity," tweeted Mufti.

Abdullah, who also demanded an inquiry into the matter, said:

"An impartial & credible inquiry in to the recent encounter in Hyderpora is an absolute necessity. There are far too many questions being raised about the encounter & about the people killed. There have been numerous instances of fake encounters in the past and the questions raised about this Hyderpora encounter need to be answered swiftly & in a credible manner."

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Topics:  Terror   Jammu and Kashmir 

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