The protesting family members were forcibly removed by police around midnight on November 18, while they were staging a sit-in. A few of the protesters were detained.

Family members of civilians killed in Hyderpora encounter protest in Srinagar demanding probe and return of bodiesImage Credit: PTI
news Protest Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 13:21

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday, November 19, ordered a magisterial probe into the Hyderpora encounter in Srinagar, in which police claimed to have killed two alleged terrorists and two alleged terror associates. The probe was ordered amidst protests by the family members of the deceased, who have called the incident cold-blooded murder, and have been demanded that the bodies of their kin be returned to them. The protesting family members were forcibly removed by police around midnight on November 18, while they were staging a sit-in at the Press Enclave in Srinagar. A few of the protesters were detained by the police. 

The family members of Mohammad Altaf Bhat (the building owner), Mudasir Gul (a tenant) and Amir Magray (Gul's office boy) have been protesting against the killings of the civilians in the Hyderpora encounter on Monday, November 15. They have demanded that the bodies of the deceased be handed over to them for the last rites. The protesting families were on a sit-in since Wednesday morning and held a candlelight vigil after the daylong protest. They stayed put at the Press Enclave in the biting cold, demanding that the bodies of their kin be returned to them. However, police forcibly removed the protestors from the site at around midnight. 

According to PTI, officials said the power supply to the area was snapped before the arrival of the police personnel. Several protesters were detained by the police, the officials added.

Mainstream politicians from Jammu and Kashmir have condemned the police action, video clips of which have gone viral on the social media.

"Instead of handing over mortal remains of the innocent civilians, police has arrested the family members for demanding the bodies of their loved ones. Unbelievably ruthless & insensitive. Least they can do is return the mortal remains immediately," People's Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti wrote on Twitter.

People's Conference chief Sajad Lone said the administration is intent on presenting its "inhuman and ugly face". "What on earth Has happened to the administration. Y can't they present a human face. Y r they so intent on presenting a v inhuman and ugly face (sic)," he said in a tweet.

"General Dyer must be very proud of you @JmuKmrPolice," National Conference (NC) leader Ruhullah Mehdi wrote on Twitter.

"A magisterial inquiry by officer of ADM rank has been ordered in Hyderpora encounter. Govt will take suitable action as soon as report is submitted in a time-bound manner. JK admin reiterates commitment of protecting lives of innocent civilians & it will ensure there is no injustice," Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said in a tweet.

All the four persons killed in the encounter were buried in the Handwara area of Kupwara district.

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