Valley News Desk

Hurriyat Conference calls for strike in support of kin of civilians killed in Hyderpora encounter

Srinagar, Nov 18: The Hurriyat Conference on Thursday called for a shutdown on November 19 in support of the families of the two civilians killed in the Hyderpora encounter demanding justice for the victims and return of their bodies.

A controversy has erupted over Monday’s encounter in Hyderpora following conflicting claims about the two deceased as their family members contested the police’s charge that they were “terror associates”.

The Hurriyat Conference, in a statement, said the Hyderpora encounter has stunned the people of Kashmir.

Since most leaders and political activists are “either in jails or under house detention, to protest such inhumanity (Hyderpora encounter) and in solidarity with the devastated families of the slain civilians and their demand that the bodies of their loved ones be returned to them for burial, people should observe a shut down on Friday on their own”, it said.

According to the police, Mohammad Amir of Famrote village in Ramban was a militant and was killed along with his Pakistani accomplice in the Monday evening encounter in Hyderpora, where an illegal call centre and a terror hideout were allegedly being run.

Two civilians — Altaf Bhat and Mudassir Gul — were also killed in the firing, triggering an angry reaction from their family who claimed they were innocent and not linked to militancy.

The family members of two civilians staged a sit-in at the Press Enclave in Srinagar on Wednesday and held a candlelight vigil after the daylong protest. They were forcibly removed from the site by police around midnight and a few of them were detained, officials said on Thursday.

On Thursday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration ordered a magisterial probe into the Hyderpora encounter.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said in a tweet, “A magisterial inquiry by an officer of ADM rank has been ordered in Hyderpora encounter. The government will take suitable action as soon as the report is submitted in a time-bound manner. J-K admin reiterates its commitment of protecting lives of innocent civilians and it will ensure there is no injustice.”–(PTI)

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