The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court on Friday ordered the authorities to exhume the body of Mohammad Amir Magray, one of the four persons killed in a gunfight in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area in November.

A bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar was hearing a petition filed by Magray’s father Mohammad Latief seeking that his son’s body be handed over so that a burial as per rituals can be carried out.

Four persons were killed in an operation carried out by security forces at a commercial complex in Hyderpora on November 15. They were identified as Pakistani militant Haider, hardware shop owner Mohammad Altaf Bhat, dentist-turned-entrepreneur Mudasir Gul and Amir Magray, who worked at Gul’s office.

The bodies of the deceased persons were not handed over to their families. On November 16, they were buried in the Wadder Payeen graveyard.

While the police claimed Magray was a militant, his family has maintained he was innocent.

On Friday, the High Court directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to exhume Magray’s body and send it to his native village in Ramban.

“The respondents [Jammu and Kashmir administration] can make appropriate arrangements to ensure that law and order situation does not get vitiated in any manner,” the order stated. “The petitioner [the father] is ready to undertake that he will abide by all the terms and conditions that may be imposed by the respondents with regard to exhumation, transportation and according of burial to the dead body.”

The court asked the administration to not delay the exhumation as the body must have decayed.

“However, if the body is highly putrefied and is not in deliverable state or is likely to pose risk to public health and hygiene, the petitioner and his close relatives shall be allowed to perform last rites as per their tradition and religious belief in the Wadder Payeen graveyard itself,” the court ordered.

If the petitioner ends up performing the last rites at the Wadder Payeen graveyard, then the court has ordered that the administration should pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to Magray’s family.