Ground Report | New Delhi: Hyderpora Encounter; The owner of the house, the father of three minor children, the youngest of whom is a two-year-old, on Tuesday opposed the police’s claims and demanded justice and hand over the body to them. “We want justice. Hand over our body to us,” Abdul Majeed, brother of Altaf Ahmed Dar.
“Our brother was working in Hyderpora Srinagar. He had six shops there. They have given the first storey building on rent to property dealers. At 5 pm the army (police and army) came and laid siege. The shops were asked to be closed,” he said, adding, “Then around 30-40 people were locked up in the Honda shop. Then the firing took place. Then took out my brother and said that the search has to be done. Then after some time they again lock our children in the shop. Later they brought drones etc and then they took my brother again, saying that a new search has to be done. After some time he was again kept with these people. For the third time, they again asked him to come out to search. This time he was killed.”
Majeed has two daughters – one is 8 years old and the other is 11 years old and the other is two years old. “They have become orphans.” He said that one of those killed was Banihal Gool, who worked as a peon with property dealers. “People called him a doctor and I don’t know his real name” GNS reported.
Majeed said that his brother Altayaf had called him when Ghera was there. “If there were terrorists, would they stay there. I want to say that we want justice. Give us the body so that we can perform the last rites. If it is proved that my brother was involved even from afar, then come and destroy our house,” he said, “even though he was my brother, he was like my child,” he said and broke down. “Give us justice. Give us the body. When we asked for the body, they did not give it to us,” he said, “there is no response. They are only lying.” In view of his emotional state, no further talks took place.
Saima Bhat, the niece of the slain man, said that her uncle was an innocent person and was not involved in any terrorist activity. “My uncle has been murdered. He was used as a human shield in a staged encounter. He runs a hardware shop and owns the premises where the security forces had come for checking,” she said.
“There was no firing in that compound. He was taken thrice inside the building as a human shield for search and when they found nothing, he was killed there,” she said. Saima and some family members expressed their displeasure by tweeting and demanded that the body be returned to the family for burial.
She said the police were not returning her uncle’s body by calling it an Over Ground Worker (OGW) or a “terrorist accomplice”. In a tweet last night, police quoted the Inspector General of Police (Kashmir region) as saying that Bhat “in whose building the terrorists were hiding” was injured in the firing and later died.
However, Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said that four people, including a foreign terrorist, his local associate, an OGW, and a building owner, were killed in an encounter in Srinagar’s Hyderpora on Monday evening. However, he added that the owner of the building was killed in a “crossfire”, while the fourth person was an OGW who provided his rented location to Haider to use as a “terrorist hideout”. (Hyderpora Encounter)
Addressing a press conference at Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar, IGP Kashmir said that last evening, the police got a clue about the presence of terrorists near the National Highway at Hyderpora. The IGP said, “Police, CRPF and Army laid siege and when the suspicious spot was zeroed, the terrorists fired indiscriminately at the forces.”
He said that in the ensuing encounter two terrorists, including Haider from Jammu’s Banihal area and a foreign terrorist identified as his local associate, were killed. “We have called a family from Banihal to identify those killed,” the IGP said.
The owner of the building, Altaf Ahmed, died in the crossfire, he said. “It is not certain whether the bullet of the militant or the bullets fired by the forces hit him. The terrorists were carrying pistols and after investigation, it will be clear whose bullet hit them,” said the Kashmir police chief.