Janhastakshep demands Justice for civilians killed in Hyderpora Encounter in Kashmir

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Their families allege they were killed 'in cold blood'. From left to right: Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Mudasir Gul, Amir Ahmad Magray

By Special Correspondent

New Delhi: Alleging that the Jammu and Kashmir police version of the Hyderpora, Srinagar encounter is replete with contradictions and lies, civil society group ‘Janhastakshep’, on Tuesday demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident by a sitting judge no lower than of High Court. It also demanded that all personnel involved in the encounter, including the Inspector General of Police, Vijay Kumar, should be placed under suspension to ensure non-interference in the circumstances of the case.

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Janhastakshep, calling itself as a ‘campaign against fascist designs’ recounted the fateful incident saying “the tearful image of the 13 years old daughter of Altaf Ahmad Butt, that was beamed on the television screens across India, after the Hyderpora encounter staged on 15 November, tore apart the claims of a much-improved situation in the Kashmir valley, beckoning a bright future for Kashmiri people under the Centre’s rule after the bifurcation of the state and the abrogation of Article 370 on 5 August 2019. The pathos of the situation couldn’t be more shameful than this that policemen laughed at Butt’s daughter when she demanded an answer from them for having killed her father”.

Altaf Ahmad was one among the two civilians along with Dr Mudasir Gul who was killed in the encounter, while a third person – Mohammad Aamir Magray, who died in the encounter has been alleged to be a local militant. It is noteworthy that Magray’s father is a state bravery award winner for having helped in anti-insurgency operations. The fourth casualty in the encounter is said to be that of a Pakistani militant.

“Hyderpora encounter has once again exposed the chicanery and deceit of the Modi led RSS-BJP government for whom the utility of Kashmir lies only in as much as it is a convenient ploy to keep the communal embers burning in the rest of the country for reaping electoral dividends,” said Dr Vikas Bajpai, Co-convener Janhastakshe

The police version of the Hyderpora encounter is replete with contradictions and lies, even as it has been claimed in the eyewitness accounts, as also by the pro-Delhi Kashmiri politicians that the civilians killed in the encounter were used as a human shield by the security forces, added he.

These are familiar tactics of the security forces in the valley. One is reminded of the Machil fake encounter of 29 April 2010 involving officers and jawans of 4 Rashtriya Rifles, as also the Patherbal fake encounter, following the massacre of 35 Sikhs on 20 March 2000 at Chattisinghpura village of Anantnag district allegedly by terrorists, a story which has since been refuted by senior army officers themselves, observed Dr Bajpai.

The alleged encounter that took place at Hyderpora locality of Srinagar on 15 November 2021 ought to be taken as another atrocity in line with a series of atrocities heaped on people of Kashmir valley, said he.

“In times when we are witness to all-round attacks on the democratic rights of the people, it becomes imperative for all democratic sections of the society to raise their voice for demanding justice for the families of those killed in this encounter and the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir. Doing so is a necessary condition for protecting our own rights.”

While condemning the highhandedness of the security forces, Janhastakshep demands a high-level inquiry into the incident by a sitting judge no lower than of High Court. All personnel involved in the encounter, including the Inspector General of Police, Vijay Kumar, should be placed under suspension to ensure non-interference in circumstances of the case, the Co-convener said.

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