Tarigami demands judicial probe into Hyderpora “encounter” killings and use of civilians as human shields

Published : November 17, 2021 13:12 IST

Veteran CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami. Photo: PTI Photo/S. Irfan/File Photo

Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami, veteran leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has raised questions on the "encounters" that took place at Hyderpora in Srinagar on November 15. Four persons, including two civilians, were killed in the incident and it resulted in a hue and cry on social media and protests by the victims' families.

Amid widespread reports that the encounter was staged and that at least one of the victims was used as a "human shield", Yousuf Tarigami demanded a judicial probe. He also urged the administration to handover the bodies to relatives for the last rites. The police said that among the four killed were two militants, one of whom was from Banihal and the other, named Haider, was a foreign militant. The civilians were identified as Altaf Bhat and Mudasir Gull. Police said Bhat was killed in cross firing. Gull, police said, was an “overground worker” and had helped ferry Haider.

The families of the two victims rejected the police version and said that they were "targeted for being Muslims". Bhat's daughter told the media that eyewitnesses had seen police take Bhat thrice into the building at Hyderpora, that he was killed after he was used as a human shield. Gull was a medical practitioner-turned-businessman.

Yousuf Tarigami condemned the alleged use of civilians as human shields. "Allegedly using unarmed civilians as human shields is shocking and must be probed through judicial process. The circumstances in which these killings happened need to be thoroughly probed," he said. "The rule of the law is being violated with impunity in Kashmir which is highly unfortunate. From arbitrary arrests of people, including youth, to booking them under draconian laws and now allegations of using civilians as human shields, the situation is turning from bad to worse," he added.

The National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party and other parties have also condemned the killings. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has demanded an inquiry. “An impartial & credible inquiry in to the recent encounter in #Hyderpora is an absolute necessity. There are far too many questions being raised about the encounter & about the people killed,” Omar Abdullah posted on Twitter.

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