The families of three youth from South Kashmir, who were killed in an alleged gunfight in Srinagar last year, on Tuesday staged protest at Pulwama demanding an impartial probe and return of dead bodies of the slain.
Witnesses said a protest march was taken from the residence of slain Athar Mushtaq to the local graveyard where Athar’s father had dug a grave to bury his son.
Scores of people shouting slogans like ‘stop innocent killing’ were part of the protest demanding justice and return of the bodies of the trio.
The Indian government forces do not return the bodies of the pro-freedom insurgents to their families to stop massive participation of locals in their funerals.
Mohammad Yousuf a relative of slain Zubair Ahmad from Turkwangam in Shopian said ‘they expect justice from the Indian governor Manoj Sinha’.
“Authorities should handover bodies so that they can be laid to rest at their ancestral graveyards. If you will prove our sons were militants, we won’t demand their bodies and will remain silent,” he said.
Grandfather of Aijaz Maqbool from Putrigam said that his grandson wasn’t a militant and was very ill the day he was killed in a staged encounter in Srinagar’s Parimpora.
“If he was a militant then he was not arrested once before his killing,” he said.
Mushtaq Ahmad, father of Athar said that he will give in writing that he will bury his son in the dead of night if the Indian authorities handover their bodies.
“I assure that there won’t be any law and order problem,” Mushtaq said.
“Every day my old parents and my daughter ask me about Athar, I want to show them his face one last time. I assure you that I will bury him in dead of night in absence of people,” he said.
“If authorities didn’t investigate the matter within seven days, I will commit suicide in Lal Chowk,” Mushtaq said while stating it is yet to be proven whether the trio has committed anything wrong.
“At least there would have been a single FIR against them. Forces would have raided our houses if they were militants or their cadre but that didn’t happen. Even after 20 days of their killing, authorities are collecting evidence, which proves our point,” he said.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar on Monday said that three youth killed in Parimpora gunfight were militants and police will soon convince the parents of the slain trio with ‘concrete evidence’.
He had claimed said that the bodies of slain militants aren’t being handed over to families in view of the Covid-19 pandemic as people would assemble in funerals and break the Covid protocol. But denial of bodies to the kin of insurgents has been an Indian practice in Kashmir much before the pandemic.