The Gupkar Alliance, a grouping of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday wrote to the President Ram Nath Kovind, demanding a time-bound judicial investigation into the gunfight in Srinagar’s Hyderpora in which two civilians were killed. The findings of the inquiry should be revealed to the public, the alliance said.
“Needless to state that such unfortunate incidents widen the gulf between the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of India,” the alliance wrote to the president.
Hardware shop owner Mohammad Altaf Bhat and dentist-turned-entrepreneur Dr Mudasir Gul were killed in a gunfight during an operation carried out by the security forces on Monday at a commercial complex in Srinagar’s Hyderpora.
The police had first claimed that Bhat and Gul were shot dead by militants, but later said they might have died in a crossfire during the anti-militancy operation. Bhat’s niece has alleged that he was murdered by the police.
On Thursday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration ordered a magisterial inquiry into the gunfight. Srinagar Additional District Magistrate Khurshid Ahmad Shah has issued a notice urging people to give information on the gunfight.
The Gupkar Alliance on Thursday also pointed out that the bodies of the victims of the Hyderpora gunfight – and several such incidents – were not handed to families on time, depriving them of the right of burial according to rituals.
The bodies of Bhat and Gul, who died in the gunfight, were buried in Handwara town, which is 100 km from their hometown, Srinagar. On Wednesday, the families of the deceased civilians had demanded the bodies of their kin to be handed over to them.
“The right to decent burial is recognised in the constitution of India as well as in the international humanitarian law,” the Gupkar Alliance stated. “The dead bodies cannot be denied the right to burial under any circumstances including the so-called law and order problem.”
On Thursday night, the bodies of the two deceased civilians were exhumed from a graveyard in Handwara town and handed over to their families. On Thursday night, the families buried the bodies in local graveyards, according to The Hindu.