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J&K govt to probe Srinagar encounter; 'committed to protect innocents', says LG Manoj Sinha

Police said that four persons, including an overground worker (OGW) and a civilian, were killed in the encounter in Hyderpora area of Srinagar on November 15. But a row erupted after the family members of the three deceased denied police claims.

November 18, 2021 / 12:56 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on November 18 ordered a magisterial probe into the controversial encounter in Hyderpora area of Srinagar earlier this week.

A row had erupted after the families of three of the four deceased in the encounter contested the police’s charge that they were “terror" associates.

Manoj Sinha, the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of the Union Territory said that the government will take suitable action as soon as report of the probe by an officer of ADM rank is submitted in a time-bound manner.

READ: Dotted with security bunkers and frisking points, Kashmir has ‘returned to the nineties’

“Government will take suitable action as soon as report is submitted in a time-bound manner. Jammu and Kashmir administration reiterates commitment of protecting lives of innocent civilians and it will ensure there is no injustice,” Sinha said in a tweet on November 18.

Police had said that four persons, including an overground worker (OGW) and a civilian, were killed in the Hyderpora encounter on November 15. But the families of the three deceased civilians contested police claims and said that the two were innocent.

Police said, a Pakistani terrorist and his local associate Mohammad Amir, Magray along with two civilians — Altaf Bhat and Mudassir Gul — were killed in the encounter, where an illegal call centre and a terror hideout were allegedly being run.

Also, read: Investments in J&K expected to reach Rs 35,000 crore by December: Manoj Sinha

While Bhat was the owner of the shopping complex where the encounter happened, Gul was one of the building's tenants. The families of the two held a protest on November 17, demanding justice for the victims and the return of their bodies. The family of Magray, a resident of Gool in Ramban, also said that he was innocent and not a terror associate. Police forcefully removed the families holding a candlelight vigil at Srinagar’s Press Enclave on November 17.

All regional political parties had demanded an impartial probe into the encounter after videos of families protesting and demanding justice emerged on social media.

The four bodies were buried in Handwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, 70 kilometres from Srinagar.

National Conference (NC) patron Farooq Abdullah said he had a telephonic conversation with Sinha and had apprised him of the situation.

"I informed the L-G about the contradictory statements made by the police. On Monday, they are civilians trapped in crossfire and Tuesday they are harbourers of terror. If they had so much of the so-called inputs about the deceased on Tuesday, they could have shared on Monday. This is a cooked-up story and needs to be probed," Abdullah was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on November 17.

(with PTI inputs)
Gulam Jeelani is a journalist with over 12 years of reporting experience. Based in New Delhi, he covers politics and governance for Moneycontrol.

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