Kashmir Political Parties Demand Probe

Dr. Mudasir's family protesting in Press Colony demanding his body. KO photo by Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Amid growing outrage at the killing of four persons, which the police claim were militants and their associates, mainstream political parties in Kashmir have demanded a probe into the alleged encounter by the police.

Former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti demanded a judicial enquiry into the killings. “Using innocent civilians as human shields, getting them killed in cross firing & then conveniently labelling them as OGWs is part of GOIs rulebook now,” Mehbooba tweeted. “Imperative that a credible judicial enquiry is done to bring out the truth & put an end to this rampant culture of impunity.”

National Conference vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah also demanded a probe. “An impartial & credible inquiry in to the recent encounter in Hyderpora is an absolute necessity,” he tweeted. “There are far too many questions being raised about the encounter & about the people killed.”

Omar pointed out: “There have been numerous instances of fake encounters in the past and the questions raised about this Hyderpora encounter need to be answered swiftly & in a credible manner.”
CPI (M) leader and four-time legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also demanded a judicial enquiry. “The circumstances in which these killings happened need to be thoroughly probed,” he said.

He added: “The rule of the law is being violated with impunity in Kashmir which is highly unfortunate. From arbitrary arrests of people, including youth to booking them under draconian laws and now allegations of using civilians as human-shields, the situation is turning from bad to worse.”

Tarigami demanded the return of the dead bodies of the killed civilians so that families could perform their last rites. Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar had on Tuesday said law and order apprehensions led the police to bury them in a graveyard in north Kashmir’s Handwara, more than 80 kilometers away from Srinagar.

‘Neutral Parties Must Investigate’

Meanwhile, chairperson of the Peoples Conference and former minister in erstwhile state’s last elected government, Sajad Lone said it was an “opportunity” for Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to “assert that human lives matter” by allowing a “neutral institution” to probe the killings.

Lone added: "In the midst of conflicting claims in the Hyderpora encounter, the least we deserve is a transparent description of what happened by a neutral institution. This is neither the first time nor the last time."

His party criticised the denial of last rites to the family of the killed. "Denying dignity in death is an inhuman act," they said.

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