Second burial of 2 J&K businessmen after the exhumation of the bodies by the administration
Three days after their secret police burial, the bodies of two Srinagar businessmen were exhumed by the Jammu and Kashmir administration and handed over to families for the last rites amidst moving scenes.
The burial was carried out before dawn as families were strictly requested to ensure that the burial took place before morning. A grieving family member said “waiting for the day was not an option”.
Mohammad Altaf Bhat, a businessman and Mudasir Gul, a dental surgeon turned businessman, were killed during a controversial meeting with the police on Monday evening in Hyderpora in Srinagar.
Police said two terrorists were killed during the encounter and two pistols were recovered from the site. One of them identified as Amir Ahmad Margay worked as a clerk in Mudasir Gul’s office.
Abdul Latief Margay, Amir’s father, is an anti-militant activist who received a military citation and a state bravery award in recognition of his fight against terrorism. In 2005, he killed a terrorist with a stone during hand-to-hand combat.
Mr Margay alleged that his innocent son was killed during an organized meeting and demanded the return of his body. But only two bodies were exhumed yesterday and there is no indication if and when Amir’s body will be exhumed and handed over to the families.
The four people killed in the operation were buried somewhere in Handwara, North Kashmir. The police had cited a public order problem to refuse the bodies of businessmen to their families.
But after intense protests and outrage, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir was forced to order a judicial inquiry into the controversial meeting on Thursday and ultimately handed over the bodies of Mudasir Gul and Mohammad Altaf Bhat to their families.
For two years, the bodies of terrorists as well as those killed during police interventions have not been returned to families. Those protesting the denial of bodies have been charged by police.
Earlier this year, police indicted Mushtaq Ahmad Wani and seven others under the UAPA counterterrorism law for claiming the bodies of his underage son and two other youths who were killed in a controversial encounter near Srinagar. . Police said all three were terrorists and refused to hand over the bodies to their families.