Srinagar, Nov 18: The family members of two civilians killed during an encounter in Srinagar's Hyderpora three days ago, were forcibly removed by the police from a sit-in protest site at Press Enclave Srinagar while demanding the bodies around midnight with a few of them briefly detained, wire agency PTI reported while quoting officials.
The families are demanding the bodies be returned to them for a proper burial. Police have buried the duo in far flung Handwara in north Kashmir's Kupwara citing "law and order".
The protesting families were on a sit-in since Wednesday morning and held a candlelight vigil after the daylong protest. They stayed put at the Press Enclave amidst a biting cold, demanding that the bodies of their kin be returned to them.
However, police forcibly removed the protestors from the site at around midnight, the PTI report said. Video clips of the police action are being widely shared on social media.
As per the PTI report, the power supply to the area was snapped before the arrival of the police personnel.
Several protesters were detained by the police, the officials added. Greater Kashmir has learnt from sources that the detained family members were released shortly afterwards.
The midnight raid by the police on the protesting family members has caused anger among people including the mainstream politicians from Jammu and Kashmir who condemned the police action.
"Instead of handing over mortal remains of the innocent civilians, police has arrested the family members for demanding the bodies of their loved ones. Unbelievably ruthless & insensitive. Least they can do is return the mortal remains immediately," People's Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti wrote on Twitter.
People's Conference chief Sajad Lone said the administration is intent on presenting its "inhuman and ugly face".
"What on earth has happened to the administration. Y can't they present a human face. Y r they so intent on presenting a v inhuman and ugly face (sic)," he said in a tweet.
"General Dyer must be very proud of you @JmuKmrPolice," National Conference (NC) leader Ruhullah Mehdi wrote on Twitter.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was ''outrageous'' for the J&K administration to not allow the relatives killed during the Hyderpora encounter to conduct a peaceful protest.
In a series of tweets, Omar urged LG Manoj Sinha to reach out to the families and give them the bodies of their kins.
"This is the naya Kashmir of 2021. This is how the J&K police fulfils @PMOIndia promise to remove "dil ki doori & Dilli se doori. It's outrageous that the J&K administration did not allow the families to conduct a peaceful sit in protest," Omar tweeted.
"I've rarely seen families who have been wronged conduct themselves with such dignity. They have been reasonable in their demands & dignified in their conduct. The result of this is visible for all to see as the police drags them away in the dead of night."
"LG @manojsinha_ should reach out to these families, hear them in person & then give them the bodies of their loved ones. It's the only right thing to do, it's the only humane thing to do."
Police said four people, including a foreign militant and his associate from J&K's Ramban district, were killed in the gunfight on Monday night. As per IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, Mohammad Altaf Bhat, the owner of the building where the gunfight took place and one Mudasir Gul, an OGW as per police were killed "in cross fire" a claim contested by their families.