Father Demands Body Of Teen Son Killed In HMT ‘Encounter’

 KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: A day after bodies of two businessmen were exhumed and handed over to the families following massive outrage over the controversial Hyderpora encounter, the father of a teenager killed in an alleged gunfight in HMT area of the city outskirts last year, demanded on Friday the mortal remains of his son for a decent burial.

Mushtaq Ahmed Wani, a resident of Pulwama, released a video on social media seeking body of his son Athar Mushtaq, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in HMT area of the city outskirts on December 30 last year.

Wani, who was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by the police for organising a protest to seek his slain son’s body in February this year, said that even after eleven months, the grave he had dug to bury his deceased son in their native graveyard remains open.

“If you all recall, I’d shrieked in Srinagar and stated that whatever had happened to me today, will happen to you all tomorrow,” Wani said with a distraught face.

“This (Hyderpora shootout) had happened just as I feared and it was exactly what they (Forces) had planned,” he added.

17-year-old Athar Mushtaq and two other young men, aged 22 and 24, were on December 30 last year killed by army and Police in HMT area in an alleged fake encounter.

Like Hyderpora, the HMT encounter also immediately mired in controversy as the families rejected the claims of government forces that the three youth were involved in militancy.

“The IG of Police and LG had assured us that an investigation into the matter will be called and had also informed the media that about 60% of evidence about my son being a militant was already available and the rest of the evidence will be shown in 10-15 days,” Wani said

“Even though I’d claimed that the HMT encounter was a staged one, no one dared to listen to me.”

Wani’s emotional plea comes a day after the authorities decided to exhume bodies of two civilians---Altaf Ahmed Bhat and Dr. Mudasir Gul---who were killed in the shootout of 15 November in Hyderpora area of Srinagar city.

Notably, the controversial encounter that left Athar and two other youngsters dead had come just days after the chargesheet in the Shopian fake encounter case indicted an Army captain and two others.

“On the day of judgement, you all will have to face the Almighty and then, you’ll be judged on whether you raised your voice for my son or not.” Wani is heard saying in the video.

“I’m still longing for my son’s dead body and his return can be made possible only if you people stand by my side,” he adds

He is further heard saying, “The way three innocent civilians were killed in Hyderpora is exactly how my son was killed in HMT. Now, it is you guys who can deliver justice but perhaps, you aren’t able to understand my grief.”

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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