Kashmir gunfight: Police warn of action against residents, politicians for ‘speculative remarks’
The statement came after many questioned the findings of the police probe on the controversial gunfight.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday said it would act against civilians and politicians who made “speculative statements” about the gunfight that took place in Srinagar’s Hyderpora locality last month. The statement came a day after a special investigation team set up by the police to look into the incident apparently absolved security forces of any wrongdoing.
The SIT said that it had come across several posts by political leaders and family members, expressing doubt about the evidence collected during the investigation.
“These people have tried to call it ‘Concocted Cover up Story’, ‘Ornamental Probe’, ‘Clean Chit to Killers’, ‘Fairy Tale of Police’ etc,” the statement read.
The police requested people to provide evidence if they had information regarding the gunfight.
“Such speculative statements from the political leaders have [a] tendency to create provocation, rumour, fear and alarm among the general masses or particular section of society. This kind of approach is against the rule of law and may attract appropriate penal provisions as envisaged under law,” the police statement said.
Four people were killed in an operation carried out by security forces at a commercial complex in Hyderpora on November 15. They were a Pakistani militant identified by the police as Haider, hardware shop owner Mohammad Altaf Bhat, dentist-turned-entrepreneur Mudasir Gul and Amir Ahmed Magray, who worked in Gul’s office. Their bodies were not handed over to their families. On November 16, they were buried in a North Kashmir graveyard far from Srinagar.
The police had claimed Magray was also a militant and Bhat and Gul were “terror associates”. They later amended their statement to say Bhat was merely the building owner but Gul had facilitated the escape of a militant.
The families of Bhat, Gul and Magray have rejected the police’s claims that they were involved in militancy. Their death, they alleged, was “cold-blooded murder”. They also accused the security forces of using them as human shields in a staged gunfight.
After much public outrage, the bodies of Bhat and Gul were exhumed and handed back to their families. The police also set up a special investigation team to probe the incident.
On Tuesday, the Special Investigation Team, headed by Deputy Inspector General Sujit Kumar Singh, had held a press conference with Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh and Inspector General of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar to give a clean chit to the security forces.
“Prima facie evidence shows Dr Mudasir Gul was shot dead by the foreign militant on the directions possibly from across [Pakistan],” Sujit Kumar Singh said. “Building owner Altaf Bhat was used as a human shield by the militant and was killed in a crossfire.”
The police released the findings of the team even as the report of the magisterial inquiry ordered by the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is yet to be made public.
On Wednesday, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a conglomeration of regional political parties, said the police briefing was only a repetition of the “old story”. The political parties demanded a judicial investigation into the killings. It added that the police version seemed to be a “concocted cover-up story”.