Srinagar 'encounter': Family of one of three slain writes to LG

The family of one of the three slain ‘militants’ killed in Srinagar on Thursday vouched for his innocence and urged the government to hand over his body for burial.

Ajaz Maqbool, 20, son of Muhammad Maqbool Ganai – a head constable in Jammu and Kashmir Police from Putrigam, Pulwama – and two others were killed by security forces in Srinagar on Wednesday, saying they were militants.

The other two killed are Ather Mushtaq Wani, 16, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Wani of Bellow village in Pulwama district and Zubair Ahmad Lone, 22, son of Ghulam Muhammad Lone from Turkewagan Shopian.

However, the relatives protested outside the police control room Srinagar demanding their bodies and calling them civilians.

In an application addressed to Lieutenant Governor, the maternal uncle and grandfather of Ajaz have sought the body of Ajaz.

They also have sought an impartial probe into his killing.

“The deceased was pursuing graduation at Degree College Pulwama and on December 29 had gone to Pulwama for some work. At 3:00 pm on the same date, he called his sister Asiya that his work is still pending. The next day, SHO Rajpora called them to inquire about Ajaz. After they sent him his photo through WhatsApp they were told to approach PCR Srinagar,” the application reads.

It says that the father of Ajaz was surprised when he was denied the body and instead told that his son was a militant.

“The deceased is a student and has no criminal background and there is no FIR registered against him,” the application further said.

It further says that the deceased was not remotely connected with any anti-national activity and that the question of he joining militancy does not arise at all.

“It is, therefore, requested that the dead body of Ajaz is handed over to the family for last rites. Also, an impartial inquiry be conducted to serve justice,” the letter concludes.

Meanwhile, the family of Zubair has also urged the government to hand over his dead body for last rites.

“Now that the only thing I want is to bury my son in his ancestral graveyard so that we can visit and pray for his soul,” said his mother.

Two of his brothers work in J&K Police with one posted at Ganderbal where Zubair was buried.

Ather Mushtaq of Bellow, according to police release is a relative of slain Hizb commander Rayeees Kachroo, killed in 2017.

Police had also claimed that even though the three were not listed as militants but two of them were hardcore OGWs and that one might have joined militancy recently.

It had also claimed to have recovered two pistols and an AK47 rifle from their possession.

The army had earlier said the slain used heavy ammunition during the gunfight indicating that they were up to some big operation along the highway.