Hyderpora Encounter: Bodies of two civilians returned to kin after families’ protest

According to local reports, the exhumation took place at 5:30 PM., following which the bodies were taken to Srinagar.

The bodies of two civilians including building owner Altaf Ahmed Bhat of Barzulla and Dr Mudasir Gul of Rawalpora area of Srinagar were exhumed after two days from a graveyard in the Handwara area of the northern district of Kupwara for handing over to their families for the last rites on Thursday late evening, amid increasing pressure from various sections.

The LG Manoj Sinha-led administration directed police to exhume the bodies of Altaf and Dr Mudasir, who were killed in a Hyderpora encounter on Monday, after frantic deliberations and the outpouring of resentment from families of the slain, mainstream leaders, and civil society activists.

Dead bodies were exhumed amid strong security cover

The remains of Altaf and Dr Mudasir were exhumed from a graveyard in Handwara amid strong security cover in the presence of the police and other administrative officials. In the presence of few policemen and civil administration personnel, the exhumation took place quietly.

The exhumation, as per local reports, took place around 5:30 PM, after which the corpses of the slain were transported to Srinagar.

Families were returned the remains of slain but asked to ensure no ‘law and order’ situation emerges

Altaf and Dr Mudasir Gul’s remains were handed over to their families late in the evening, according to family sources.

Hyderpora Encounter: Bodies of two civilians returned to kin after families’ protest
The dead body of the slain handed over to the family.

They added that the government officials and police advised the families to only allow a small number of people to attend the burial and to ensure that there would be no ‘law and order situation’.

The grieving families were again enveloped in gloom

The two families, who had been in shock and despair since Monday evening, grieved Altaf and Dr Mudasir’s deaths once again as their remains arrived at their respective homes in Srinagar.

The families were once again enveloped in gloom, with Altaf’s children screaming in agony and anguish after seeing their father for the final time. At Dr Mudasir’s residence, similar scenes were observed as his wife saw her husband for the last time.

Hyderpora Encounter: Bodies of two civilians returned to kin after families’ protest
Relatives digging the grave for burial of slain.

When Dr Mudasir’s wife sought to show her one-year-old daughter the face of her father, witnesses stated that no one could contain their emotions. “Every eye was filled with tears, and everyone broke down,” a local witness claimed.

As per local accounts, Altaf was buried at an old-Barzulla graveyard, while Dr Mudasir will be cremated in the Pir Bagh area of Srinagar’s outskirts.

Pertinently, the exhumation took place after LG Manoj Sinha ordered a magisterial investigation into the Hyderpora encounter, and after mainstream leaders, including former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other party leaders, took to the streets to demand that the bodies of those killed in the Hyderpora gunfight be returned to their families.

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