Lawaypora ‘Encounter’: Distraught Father Promises Son’s Quiet Burial

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  Photo Courtesy: Syed Shahriyar

Srinagar: A day after Inspector General of Police Kashmir (IGP) Vijay Kumar ruled out returning the bodies of three alleged militants killed in Lawaypora to their families, the father of one of the slain youth on Tuesday promised a quiet burial of his son in the grave he has dug in his native village a fortnight ago.

“Hand over the body of Athar to me in the dead of the night. I promise, I will lay him to rest in darkness in absence of people in the grave that I have dug for him. My ailing father and mother want to see his face last time,” Mushtaq Ahmed Wani told reporters in Belou village of Pulwama district on Tuesday.

Wani’s son Athar and two other youth Zubair Ahmed and Ajaz Maqbool were killed by government forces on December 30 in Lawaypora area of the city outskirts here. The police and army had said that all the three were militants and were planning to carry out a ‘big strike’ on state forces on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway, a claim strongly contested by the families. The bodies of all the three youth were taken by forces and buried in Sonmarg area of Ganderbal district, despite the protest by families.

“First they killed my son and now a claim is being made that they are gathering evidence. What kind of justice is it that you kill a person and later collect evidence,” Wani said.

Commenting on IGP’s remarks that Covid-19 SOPs are followed in cases of militants’ killings, Wani said that he recently attended the funeral of his relative policeman who was killed in a militant attack in Natipora.

“Over 10,000 people were part of the funeral of that policeman. When the body was returned to the family and people participated in his funeral despite Covid SOPs in force, why the body of my son will not be handed over to me. I will give in writing that I will bury my son in the middle of the night. Handover the body during night hours and I will bury him without violating Covid SOPs,” Wani said.

Muhammad Yousuf Shah, the relative of another youth Zubair Ahmed said that incumbent LG is a reasonable Governor and they expect justice from him.

“If our sons turn out to be militants, we will remain silent and won’t claim their bodies, but when there is no proof that can link them with militancy, the authorities should hand over the bodies so that they can be laid to rest at their native villages,” he said.

Meanwhile, the families of the three youth and some villagers on Tuesday took out a peaceful march in Belou village of Pulwama district. Carrying black banners, the protesters were demanding the bodies of the slain trio.

 

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