Srinagar: After the bodies of two civilians killed in the Hyderpora encounter were returned to their families, the chorus for handing over the mortal remains of Amir Magray — the third person killed in the gunfight and whose kin claim he was innocent — grew louder on Friday.
Cutting across the political spectrum, leaders from the mainstream as well as the separatist camp demanded that Magray’s body be also returned to his family in the Ramban area of Jammu for last rites.
Aamir Magrey also killed in Hyderpora encounter is yet to be given a decent burial by his mourning family. The fact that these families are begging for mortal remains instead of asking for justice reflects their lack of faith in the system. His body must be returned immediately, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti wrote on Twitter.
National Conference leader Ruhullah Mehdi said in a tweet, Is Amir Magray’s body returned to his family? And if not, why? Does the administration and also we (the society) think he was child of a lesser mortal? And what about the identity and details of the 4th one killed? Or was there a 4th one? Was there even a combatant among them?
Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu also demanded Magray’s mortal remains be handed to his family.
As a citizen of India – Amir Magray of Ramban enjoys the same rights (in life and in death) under Article 21 of the Constitution of India as Altaf Bhat and
Mudasir Gul. Request @manojsinha_ Sahab that his mortal remains too should be handed over to his family for last rites, Mattu said on Twitter.
CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also urged the government to return the body without any further delay.
It has been proven beyond any doubt that Magray is a civilian. His father Abdul Latief Magray is a state bravery award winner and now his son has been killed and falsely labelled as a militant which is highly unfortunate, Tarigami said.
The least the JK administration could do is to return the body of Magray so that his family could perform his last rites, he said.
The government must ensure that those involved in the killing of unarmed civilians are brought to book and punished under law, the CPI(M) leader said.
Bodies of Mohammad Altaf Bhat and Mudasir Gul, two civilians killed in the Hyderpora encounter, were handed over to their kin on Thursday night after they were exhumed following protests by family members that they were innocent and not linked to militancy as claimed by police.
Police had initially buried them in the Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.