“Return bodies, will bury them at night”: Families of trio killed in “Srinagar gunfight”

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The families of three youth from south Kashmir on Tuesday staged a protest at the Pulwama demanding an impartial probe and return of dead bodies of the slain.

Eyewitnesses said the protest 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.

Number of people shouting slogans “Stop innocent killing” were part of the protest demanding justice besides the return of the dead bodies of the trio.

Talking to media men, Mohammad Yousuf a close relative of Zubair Ahmad from Turkwangam Shopian said that given the track record of Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha, “they expect justice from him”.

“Authorities should handover bodies so that they can be laid to rest at their places. If you will prove our sons to be militants, we won’t demand their bodies and will remain silent,” he said.

Grandfather of Aijaz Maqbool from Putrigam said that Aijaz wasn’t a militant and was very ill the day he was killed.

“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 authorities handover their bodies.

“I assure that there won’t be any law and order problem at all,” Mushtaq said.

“Everyday my old parents and my daughter ask me about Athar, I want to show them Athar last time that he is dead. 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 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 OGWS but that didn’t happen. Even after 20 days of their killing, authorities are collecting evidence, which shows how much militants they were,” he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar on Monday said that the three youth killed in Lawaypora gunfight were militants and police will soon convince the parents of the slain trio with “concrete evidence.”

He 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-19 protocol. (KNO)

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