India’s Supreme Court Monday asked the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to consider either on Tuesday or within a week the plea of a man seeking a direction to exhume the body of his son, who was dubbed a terrorist and killed in an encounter in November 2021 and to permit the family to conduct last religious rites at the same graveyard.
A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala also requested the high court consider the plea for the grant of compensation to Mohammad Latief Magrey for the death of his son Aamir Magrey.
The bench took note of the submission of senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the father of the deceased, that now he does want to press for the first relief that the body is allowed to be exhumed for performing the last religious rites at the family graveyard.
“Now I have taken the instruction. The single-judge bench order was that I would be handed over the body and I will be taking that to my own graveyard. That portion of the order I am not pressing anymore.
“Because, I am prepared to go the graveyard where he is buried and remains will be exhumed and re-entered and I will perform the religious rites myself there only…,” the senior lawyer said, adding that there were judgments which say that the right to perform last rites lies with the family members.
On June 3, a division bench of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh stayed the single bench order for exhuming the body of Aamir Magrey and handing it to his family for last rites.
On May 27, the single judge bench had directed the Jammu and Kashmir authorities to make arrangements for exhuming the remains of the deceased from the Wadder Payeen graveyard in the presence of Latief Magrey.
Bodies of two more civilians, Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr. Mudasir Gul, who was killed in the Hyderpora encounter, were exhumed and returned to the families following an outcry days after the gunfight.
Four people were killed in the encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar on November 15, 2021.
While the police said all of them were terrorists and buried their bodies in Kupawara in North Kashmir, the families of the victims said that they were innocent civilians.