Hyderpora encounter |After exhumation, 2 Srinagar civilians laid to rest

Hyderpora encounter |After exhumation, 2 Srinagar civilians laid to rest
Bodies of slain civilians being exhumed in HandwaraSpecial arrangement

Srinagar, Nov 19: The two civilians Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr Mudasir Gull, who were killed in the Hyderpora encounter on late Monday evening and whose bodies were exhumed from Handwara in north Kashmir two days later, were buried in Srinagar, during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday. However, following official directions, a limited number of mourners could attend the last rites. Emotional scenes were witnessed at the houses of both Bhat and Dr Mudasir, as soon their bodies reached the families. The wailing family members and relatives were inconsolable.

The authorities had asked families of the deceased to complete the last rites with limited number of mourners and conduct the burial before dawn.

“They were both buried last night,” officials said on Friday, adding that “burial at both the paces was peaceful”. They said that Altaf Ahmad Bhat was laid to rest at a local graveyard in old Barzulla while Dr Mudasir was buried at a graveyard in Pir Bagh area of Srinagar outskirts.

The Hyderpora encounter saw killing of four, a foreign militant, a youth Muhammad Amir from Ramban, who as per police, was a militant associate but his family denies the claim. The other two slain are Altaf Ahmad Bhat, owner of the building where the encounter took place and Dr Mudasir Gull, who operated a business in the same building.

While police had said that Bhat was killed in the cross-fire, Dr Mudasir, as per police was an Over Ground Worker (OGW) of militants, a claim denied by his family and relatives.

All the four killed in the encounter were buried in Handwara. Police had cited law and order problem to deny bodies of the businessmen to their families. The civilian killings and later their burial at a far-off place had led to a huge outcry from the families of the deceased. Besides families, there was hue and cry from mainstream leaders including former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Dr Farooq Abdullah and People’s Conference president Sajad Lone.

The bodies of Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr Mudasir were exhumed on late Thursday evening in Handwara area of Kupwara in presence of a magistrate and local police officials. The bodies were brought to Police Control Room, Srinagar amid police protection. Later they were handed over to families. The exhumation came after government ordered a magisterial probe into the Hyderpora encounter.

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