With a dental surgeon succumbing to his wounds on Tuesday, the death toll in Monday night’s encounter in the Hyderpora locality of Srinagar has risen to four amidst allegations of a victim having been used as “human shield.” Kashmir based political parties have demanded judicial enquiry into the incident.
Mudasir Gul, said to be a dental surgeon, was injured in the firing by terrorists. A Pakistani and a local terrorist were killed during the gunfight with security forces.
The controversy has triggered although the IGP (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar clarified that; “The house owner who was injured in terrorist fire, succumbed to his injuries. Terrorists had been hiding on the top floor of his building. As per source and digital evidence, he has been working as a terror associate”.
One of the killed has been identified as Mohammad Altaf Bhat, a resident of Old Barzulla locality who owned a hardware store and a cement dealership near the scene of the encounter. The IGP said that the civilian was injured in firing by terrorists. His family claimed that Bhat had no links with terrorism.
Opposition parties are trying to grill the administration on the issue. PDP leader and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted; “Using innocent civilians as human shields, getting them killed in cross-firing & then conveniently labelling them as OGWs is part of GOIs rulebook now. Imperative that a credible judicial enquiry is done to bring out the truth & put an end to this rampant culture of impunity.”
Peoples Conference chief, Sajad Lone said; “In the midst of conflicting claims in the Hyderpora encounter, the least we deserve is a transparent description of what happened by a neutral institution. This is neither the first time nor the last time. @manojsinha_ U have the opportunity to assert that human lives matter”.
Mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and J&K Apni Party leader, Junaid Azim Mattu also took to Twitter saying; “Grave and serious allegations emerging from the Hyderpora encounter. Request Hon’ble LG @manojsinha_ Sahab to order an impartial and time-bound probe to ascertain the truth. Hope the truth prevails. The families of the two civilians should be heard and heard dispassionately”.
Demanding a judicial probe into the killing of Altaf Ahmed and Mudasir Gul, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami urged the authorities to hand over their bodies to their families for proper burial. Allegedly using unarmed civilians as human shields is shocking and must be probed through a judicial process. The circumstances in which these killings happened need to be thoroughly probed, he stated.