Hyderpora killings: Magistrate yet to record families’ statements

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Five days after the government has ordered a magisterial probe into the alleged gunfight of Hyderpora, the investigating officer is yet to record the statement of the families of the three killed in the incident. 

Talking to The Kashmir Walla, the slain’s families said that five days have passed since the inquiry was ordered but no official has approached them for the probe.

“Neither we have been called before the inquiry officer nor has anyone from the administration approached us to record our statement,” said Abdul Majid Bhat, elder brother of slain Mohammad Altaf Bhat.

A resident of Barazulla, Muhammad Altaf Bhat, a businessman and resident of Budgam, Mudasir Gul, who also ran an office in the same building, where the alleged gunfight took place on Monday last week, were shot dead along with Amir Ahmad Magray, a resident of Ramban and employee of Gul. The police claimed that the trio were killed along with a foreign militant Haidar.

However, the families of all the three slain civilians have rejected the police version that their kin were involved in the militancy.

Amir’s father Muhammad Lateef Magray said that they are also waiting for the proper response from the administration regarding return of the body and initiate a proper probe into the case.

“The administration has only asked us to see Amir’s face without handing over his body, which we rejected. Rest nobody has approached us regarding the matter,” said Magray.

On 19 November, the government appointed Additional District Magistrate Srinagar Khurshid Ahmad Shah as an Inquiry Officer (IO) to probe the incident and directed him to submit the report within 15 days.

“A magisterial inquiry by an officer of ADM rank has been ordered in the Hyderpora encounter. Government will take suitable action as soon as the report is submitted in a time-bound manner. JK admin reiterates commitment of protecting lives of innocent civilians & it will ensure there is no injustice,” an official statement said.

The magisterial probe was ordered after Bhat’s and Mudasir’s family staged a protest rejecting the police claims that the slain were involved in militancy.

Mudasir’s wife Rafia said post magisterial probe order, the family has not registered their statement before the magistrate.

“We have not received any official communication to record our statement. Five days have passed but nobody has come up to us,” she said.

The family of Gul said that rather than initiating a magisterial probe, the government should order for a judicial inquiry into the matter.

“We are waiting for the outcome of the magisterial probe. Our kin was innocent, and was killed for no reason,” family said.

On Friday morning last week, authorities handed over the bodies of two civilians- Bhat and Gul’s- to the families of Srinagar for the proper burial, Amir’s family had also written to the district administration Ramban for the mortal remains of their son as well. 

The Additional District Magistrate Srinagar, Khurshid Ahmad Shah, told The Kashmir Walla that the investigation into the matter has been initiated and the family account would be registered in the coming days.

“I have given 10 days’ time to people including the media to come forward and record their statements. The probe has been initiated. After 15 days I will submit the report to the higher authorities,” Shah said.

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