After a two-day-long protest by family members and political parties, the Srinagar administration on Thursday evening exhumed bodies of two civilians killed in the Hyderpora encounter and handed them over to the families for conducting last rites.
Local news agencies of Kashmir quoting sources reported that bodies of Altaf Ahmed Bhat and Mudasir Gul were exhumed from a graveyard at Wadder Zachaldara Handwara where they were buried after Monday's encounter at Hyderpora in the outskirts of Srinagar city.
Sources said that bodies were exhumed under the supervision of Tehsildar Handwara in the presence of a team of doctors. "Bodies will be handed over to the families for conducting last rites," sources said.
Families promise to limit funerals to a few people
Sources said that amid protest by different political parties throughout the day, families of the civilians killed in the encounter held back-to-back meetings with senior police and civil officers.
"It was only after these meetings, authorities decided to exhume the bodies to hand over the families", sources said and added that families have assured the administration to limit the funeral to only a few people to avoid law and order issues in the capital city.
Restrictions have already been imposed in Srinagar city due to a strike call given by the Hurriyat Conference on Friday against the Hyderpora encounter.
ADM Srinagar to conduct the magisterial inquiry, to submit the report within 15 days
Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Srinagar was Thursday appointed to conduct a magisterial inquiry and was asked to submit a report within 15 days.
According to an order issued by District Magistrate Srinagar, "an encounter took place at Hyderpora National Highway near Classic Hospital, Srinagar in the intervening night of 15-11-2021 and 16-11-2021 and a case FIR vide No. 193/2021 dated: 16-11-2021 has been registered in P/S Hyderpora, Srinagar which discloses death of four persons including terrorists in the said encounter, and is under investigation by an SIT."
It has been felt expedient to conduct a magisterial inquiry into the matter so as to ascertain the facts and circumstances related to the incident and the cause of death, it said.
"Now, therefore in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 176 of CrPC, Shri Khurshid Ahmad Shah (KAS) Additional District Magistrate, Srinagar is hereby ordered to conduct a magisterial inquiry in the above-mentioned incident. The Inquiry Officer shall submit his report within 15 days," DM said.
J&K LG takes cognizance of matter
Jammu and Kashmir government earlier on Thursday morning ordered a magisterial probe into Monday's encounter at Hyderpora in which four people were killed.
Lt. Governor, Manoj Sinha said on his official Twitter page, "A magisterial inquiry by an officer of ADM rank has been ordered in Hyderpora encounter. Govt will take suitable action as soon as the report is submitted in a time-bound manner."
"JK admin reiterates the commitment of protecting lives of innocent civilians & it will ensure there is no injustice," he added.
Controversy erupts after Monday's encounter
The Hyderpora encounter triggered a massive controversy after families of two civilians contradicted claims of the police.
Four people, including a Pakistani terrorist, his local associate, Altaf Ahmad, owner of the building where the encounter took place, and Dr Mudasir Gul, who was running a call centre in a rented floor of the building, were killed in this encounter.
All the four slain persons were buried in north Kashmir Handwara tehsil, including the two civilians whose bodies were not handed over to their families for burial. All mainstream parties demanded an impartial probe into the incident and supported the demand of families that bodies should be handed over to them for conducting last rites.
On Wednesday night, the family members of Mudassir Gul and Altaf Ahmad, who were on a sit-in protest, were evicted and detained by the police. The families insist that Altaf Ahmad and Mudassir Gul had no involvement in militancy and demanded that their bodies be returned to them.