Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
"How will I explain it to my brother? He is much younger than I am. He doesnt know anything. He is so attached to his father and so am I," cried Altaf Bhat's daughter, a civilian who was killed in the cross-fire that ensued between the security forces and the militants in Hyderpora.
Visibly distraught, she went on with her shaking voice, "I asked them [the police], 'uncle, what have you done?' but they just laughed. They were unashamedly laughing."
Four persons, including two civilians, were killed in an encounter in the Hyderpora area of Srinagar on Monday, 15 November. Families of the two are repudiating claims of the J&K Police, who allege that they were Over Ground Workers (OGW) killed in crossfire.
The two, identified as Dr Mudasir Gul and Altaf Bhat, owned shops in the commercial complex at in the area where the encounter had taken place.
Altaf's daughter stated that the police fired at their witnesses amidst the commotion. "My cousin who was present at the scene, who gave them [the police] his statements, saw them kill the witnesses."
Breaking down in front of the camera, Altaf's brother said that he only wants justice.
Taking to Twitter, Altaf Bhat's niece, Saima, had earlier asserted that her uncle was innocent, and had been used as a human shield by the police.
Consequently, the J&K Police set up a Special Investigations Team (SIT) to probe the incident in question, The Wire reported.
'Show My Child His Father One Last Time'
Meanwhile, wife of Dr Mudasir Gul on Monday, joined a demonstration organised by the kin of the deceased, fighting to see her husband for the last time.
With her child in her arms, Gul's wife can be heard in a video saying, "I want justice, show my child his father one last time."
Mudasir's sister echoed calls for justice and said, "He was innocent. He has two young kids. We want justice,” Greater Kashmir reported.
Grieving Families Stage Protest Seeking Bodies
Gul and Bhat's families held the demonstration on Wednesday, demanding the police to return the bodies of the deceased for their last rites.
Their bodies were buried by the J&K authorities on Tuesday in far flung Handwara, a region in north Kashmir, Greater Kashmir reported.
Bhat's brother, Dr Haneef said, "If IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar has himself admitted that Altaf was a civilian and was killed in crossfire, what prompted him to take my brother’s body to Handwara for burial?"
He reportedly went on to seek LG Manoj Sinha’s intervention in the matter.
Later on Wednesday night, police allegedly detained the family members of the deceased who were sitting on a candle night vigil as part of their demonstration, demanding the dead bodies of their family members.
On Monday, Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Omar Abdullah condemned the killing of the civilians, saying that "using innocent civilians as human shields, getting them killed in cross firing and then conveniently labelling them as OGWs is part of GOIs rulebook now."
(With inputs from Greater Kashmir and The Wire.)