Families Reject SIT Probe, Say Guilty Being ‘Shielded’

Srinagar- The families of the slain men killed in controversial Hyderpora encounter last month, rejected the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) report on Tuesday alleging that a cooked up story was being made to shield the security personnel involved in “stage-managed gunfight”

On November 16, Police claimed to have killed a Pakistani militant Hyder Bhai, his associate Aamir Ahmad Magray of Ramban, ‘OGW’ Dr Mudasir Gul and building owner Altaf Ahmed Bhat in an encounter in Hyderpora area of the city outskirts. However, families of three of them— Dr Mudasir Gul, Altaf Ahmad Bhat, and Amir from Ramban—contested police claims maintaining their kin were not even remotely connected with militancy.

Following the protest by the families, the government had ordered magisterial inquiry by an additional district magistrate to be completed within 15 days. The police formed an SIT to probe the shootout. The SIT was headed by DIG central Kashmir, Sujit Kumar Singh.

Over 40 days after the controversial encounter, police held a press conference here on Tuesday claiming that the building owner Ahmed Bhat was used as a human shield by foreign militant and was killed in cross firing, while Dr Mudasir Gul was shot dead by the foreign militant on the directions “possibly from across.”

The police also maintained that the third person, Aamir Ahmad Magray was an Over Ground Worker (OGW).

Reacting to the claims of SIT, a family member of Altaf Bhat told Kashmir Observer that the CCTV footage that SIT is talking about lay defunct for the last one and half year.

“We wonder what kind of footage they (police) got when the CCTV cameras aren’t working,” the family member said.

They said the family provided all the documents that police sought during the investigation. However, many documents that police were demanding were in the lockers of the building, said the family member.

“However, the building was under their (police) possession and we weren’t allowed to go there to collect documents,” the family member said, adding that “the police locked the building days after the fake encounter and handed it over to family today.”

The family says if the SIT is claiming that Altaf was killed in cross firing or by foreign militants then what stops them (police) to declare him innocent?

“We aren’t satisfied with the SIT probe, we want an independent judicial probe,” the family member added.

Mohammad Nadeem Magray, elder brother of Aamir Magray while rebuffing the claims of SIT said that his brother was an ordinary civilian not an OGW.

“My brother was innocent and so were the others. The police cooked up the story today to save their skin” he said. Adding that “We want a judicial enquiry into the killing”

He further added that police didn’t summon them during the investigation and they are still waiting for the dead body of their kin.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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