The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked the government to submit its response in ten days against the writ petition filed by the Ramban family seeking the return of their son’s body who was killed in an alleged gunfight of Hyderpora on 15 November last year.
On 31 December, Lateef Magray- father of Amir Magray, one of the three civilians killed in a gunfight, filed a writ petition in Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking the body of his son.
Magray, in the petition, has pleaded the court to direct the Union Home Ministry, J-K administration and the Director General of Police (DGP) to hand over his body to the family.
Invoking Article 21 of the Constitution, which extends the right to have decent burial as per religious ceremonies and rules, the petitioner has also pleaded that the exhumation of Amir’s body needs to be done at the earliest to save it from getting fully decomposed.
Speaking with The Kashmir Walla, Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, who is pursuing the case, said that the court has issued the notice to the respondents [government] and has given them 10 days time to respond to our petition regarding the return of the mortal remains of Amir Magray.
Rajawat said that the HC has given 27 January as the next date for the hearing of the case.
On 15 November, an alleged gunfight took place in the Hyderpora area of Srinagar in which three civilians Muhammad Altaf Bhat, a resident of Barazulla, Dr Mudasir Gul a resident of Budgam and Amir Ahmad Magray, a resident of Ramban was killed. Aamir was working as a helper in Gul’s office.
However, the families of all the three slain civilians rejected the police version that their kin were involved in the militancy.
Initially, all the four bodies were buried about 90 kilometers from the capital city Srinagar, Wudder Payeen village in north Kashmir’s Handwara district. However, succumbing to the family pressure, the authorities later handed over the bodies of Bhat and Gul to be buried in their ancestral graveyard. However, the body of Amir has not been returned to his family.
Amir’s family filed the petition, days after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in a press conference declared him a militant associate. The SIT also claimed that Amir was killed in a cross-firing while he tried to escape from the spot.
However, Lateef Magary said that Amir comes from a “patriotic family” and cannot indulge in any anti-national activities.
“My son can’t be a militant. Our family has fought against militancy. I have killed a militant with my own hands. How come my son is a militant,” he said.
In the petition, Magray has referred to an incident of 6 August when he along with his wife and other family members killed a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant who had barged into his house and opened fire on the inmates.
“…the petitioner has been well appreciated by the Indian Army for his service towards the nation in eliminating militancy in his area,” Magray, has mentioned in his petition.
Magray, a resident of Gool Sangaldan Ramban, has also conferred the state bravery award in 2012 by the J-K government for killing a militant.
Magray said that the authorities offered to have a last glance of their kin without handing over the body, which the family rejected.
“I want the body of my son so that we [family] can give him a proper burial. Having just a glimpse of my son won’t serve any purpose,” he said.
The government had initiated a Magisterial probe to probe the incident and submit the report within 15 days. However, the outcome of the investigation is yet to be made public.