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J&K: Police Detain Family Members Demanding Return of Bodies From Protest Site

A scuffle also broke out between the protesters and the police, reported The Hindu.

Updated
India
2 min read

The police on Wednesday night, 17 November, detained the families of Dr Mudasir Gul and Altaf Bhat, the two civilians who were killed in an encounter in the Hyderpora area of Srinagar on Monday, 15 November, multiple reports suggested.

The families, who were sitting on a candle night vigil as part of their demonstration at the city's Press Enclave, demanding the police to return the bodies of the deceased for their last rites, were allegedly forcibly removed from the protest site and taken into police vehicles, NDTV reported. A scuffle also broke out between the protesters and the police, reported The Hindu.

The family members were holding placards, demanding justice. The family members said that a police officer had visited them and assured them that the bodies would be returned and asked them to leave from the protest site, reported NDTV.

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"We told her, 'give it in writing the bodies will be returned'. She said she would get back after talking to a senior officer," a family member told NDTV.

However, armed police officers in armoured trucks later came to the spot and allegedly dragged relatives from the protest site. There were also reports of electricity being cut in the area.

"I have worked in Press Enclave for last 11 years and never has electricity been snapped for such a long time. We are demanding the least," said Saima Bhat, a journalist whose uncle is among the victims, as per The Hindu.

The J&K authorities had buried their bodies on Tuesday in far-flung Handwara, a region in north Kashmir, Greater Kashmir reported.

Background

Four persons, including two civilians, were killed in an encounter in the Hyderpora area of Srinagar on Monday, 15 November. However, families of the two are repudiating claims of the J&K Police, who allege that they were Over Ground Workers (OGW) killed in the crossfire.

Dr Mudasir Gul and Altaf Bhat owned shops in the commercial complex 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."

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 NDTV and The Hindu.)

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