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Srinagar Encounter: Breaking Down Contesting Versions on Civilian Killings

The families of the two civilians are asserting that their relatives were used as human shields by the J&K police.

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The controversial deaths of two civilians in Kashmir’s Hyderpora have sparked outrage across the valley, with the next of kin asserting that their relatives were used as human shields by the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police during an encounter with militants.

The two deceased civilians, identified as Dr Mudasir Gul and Altaf Bhat, were both local business persons and owned shops in a commercial complex in Hyderpora where the encounter took place on the evening of 15 November.

According to police statements, they cordoned off the complex after receiving inputs claiming that militants were present at an “illegal call centre”. The two civilians then accompanied the police to the building. According to the police, they were killed in the crossfire as the search operation turned into a gunfight.

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The police later claimed that one of the civilians, Dr Gul, was an overground worker. The J&K police, citing law and order concerns, also performed the last rites of the two civilians and have not turned over the bodies to the next of kin.

But their families are not taking no for an answer, demanding the bodies of the relatives to be released to them. They have also sought proof that their deceased loved ones were associated with militants, or were Over Ground Workers (OGWs) as the police have claimed.

To learn more about the case and the situation on the ground, for today’s episode, we spoke with Srinagar-based freelance journalist Shakir Mir. Tune in!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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