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Srinagar Gunfight: Families Stage Protest, Demand Mortal Remains

SRINAGAR: The families of three slain youth in Lawaypora “encounter” Monday staged a protest at Press Enclave here, demanding an investigation in the matter along with handing back of the bodies.

Family members and relatives of slain Athar Mushtaq who was killed in an encounter’ at Hokersar last week stages protest in Srinagar on Monday, January 4, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, father of one of the killed, Athar Mushtaq Wani threatened that he would commit “suicide” if the body of his son isn’t handed over to the family.

“I have already dug a grave for him. I am appealing the government to hand me his body,” Wani said.

Family members and relatives of slain Athar Mushtaq who was killed in an encounter’ at Hokersar last week stages protest in Srinagar on Monday, January 4, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

“They have snatched everything from me. Now nothing is left with me. You (government forces) will get more rewards and you would be applauded by your mother and sisters as brave sons.”

Ajaz Maqbool Ganai, 24, from Putrigam Pulwama, Zubair Ahmad Lone, 22, from Turkawangam Shopian and Athar Mushtaq Wani, 16, from Bellow, Pulwama, were killed on December 31 at Lawaypora.

Police, later, claimed that the trio were militants even though no case registered against them.

Brother of Zubair, who is a cop himself, said “We demand the authorities to enquire about the incident. A similar incident took place in Amshipora, where authorities claimed that arms and ammunition was recovered from the possession of the slain.”

“Zubair was not in Srinagar on that day. We came to know that his location at around 02:30 was traced at Lassipora, a few kilometres away from our home. We approached the SHO concerned who told us to approach SSP in this regard,” he said.

Muhammad Shafi Lone, Zubair’s other brother said that “our beloved, who was innocent was killed and the statements coming to the fore are quite shocking. Zubair left home at 02:00 PM and was not in Srinagar. There are contrary statements coming to the fore. We want the facts to be made public so that justice will be delivered.”

Amshipora Redux?

Angad Singh, a Sikh youth who was part of the protest said, “Bodies are properties of families as clearly elucidated in International and human rights laws. Why are you afraid of handing over dead bodies?”

“We have seen what happened with three youth from Rajouri in (Amshipora) Shopian. You are media men, please tell me wasn’t it exposed later,” he said.

“If they were involved in militancy, please prove to us. It is not the case that you have become court, judge and jury.”

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