With no hope left to get the body, the family members of Amir Ahmad Magray, who was killed in the alleged gunfight of Hyderpora in Srinagar, have decided to hold a protest at the press enclave on Tuesday afternoon this week to demand the return of the mortal remains of their kin.
Talking to The Kashmir Walla, Amir’s father, Muhammad Lateef Magray, said that the family has decided to travel to Srinagar on Tuesday and hold a protest to demand for the return of body of his son.
“We have been appealing to the authorities to return the body of my son, but to no avail. Nobody is listening to our pleas,” said Magray.
Magray, a resident of Gool Tehsil in Ramban, said that the family had submitted a written request to the District Magistrate (DM) for the return of Amir’s body and were optimistic that the administration would take cognisance of their request.
In a letter dated 19 November 2021 reads, a copy of which is in the possession of The Kashmir Walla, had requested the concerned authorities to handover Amir’s body, “in the interest of justice.”
“The DM told us that it is not up to them to take a call on this matter as orders have to come from the Srinagar administration,” said Magray. “So, we have decided to visit Srinagar and press for the demand to return Amir’s body.”
On 15 November, an alleged encounter took place in Hyderpora area of Srinagar in which four people including twenty-two-year-old Amir was killed. Amir was accused of being a militant associate.
The other three people that were killed in the gunfight include 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 and a “militant” who police claimed was a foreigner named Bilal Bhai alias Haidar. All the four bodies were later buried around 90 kilometers away from the capital city Srinagar, in Wudder Payeen village in north Kashmir’s Handwara district.
However, the families have rejected the police claims and have raised questions about the conduct of the gunfight.
The families of Bhat and Gul held a protest at the press colony in Lal chowk and demanded the bodies of their loved ones. Succumbing to the pressure, the government later returned the bodies amid forces presence, before they were buried by the family at their ancestral graveyard.
The administration had earlier offered Amir’s relatives to have a last glimpse of their kin without handing over the body to the family for the proper burial. However, the family rejected the offer and had requested the authorities to hand over the body for the last rites.
“There was no point of just having the last glimpse of my son, when we couldn’t take him home. So, we declined their offer to travel to [Handwara] to only see the body without performing his last rites,” Magray said.
On 19 November, the government had ordered a magisterial probe into the alleged gunfight, however, the government has failed to finalize the report as families of the victims await justice.