Relatives of civilians killed in Hyderpora detained to foil protest, released later

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The family members of the two slain civilians who were earlier detained while demanding the bodies have been released on Thursday morning.

Talking to The Kashmir Walla, Saima Bhat,  a journalist, who is the nephew of the slain Mohammad Altaf Bhat, said that all the family members have been released after being briefly detained at the Kothi Bagh police station.

“During the protest at the press colony while we were demanding the body of my uncle, the police dragged and bundled my relatives into a vehicle,” Bhat said. 

“They didn’t even spare my elder father, and even being a journalist I was also taken into custody,” she said. 

Bhat said that the police told them that they had orders to clear the protest site at night, “but the family can continue their protest tomorrow”.

Despite the chilling cold the families of civilians killed in Hyderpora “gunfight” had continued their sit-in protest in press colony Srinagar till late evening but police around 11:45 pm dispersed and detained them. 

The police personnel came to the Press Colony with a truck and one by one picked the relatives and put them in the vehicle. The Kashmir Walla reported the incident live from the spot.

The families have started their protest on Wednesday morning, seeking the return of the bodies of Dr. Mudasir Gul and Altaf Ahmad Bhat.

Dr Hafiz, brother of the slain Mudasir Gul,  said that a senior police official had approached them on the directions of IGP Kashmir with the assurance that the bodies will be handed over to the families till Friday. 

“But we asked the official for a written order or to inform the media that the bodies will be returned to the families or we will not leave the protest unless bodies are handed over,” he said.

The Kashmir Walla received inputs from the press colony that power service was first snapped and then the entire colony reeled under darkness.

Police had claimed that a Pakistani militant Haidar,  and his local associate Mohammad Amir and Mudasir Gul, along with civilian —Mohammad Altaf Bhat – were killed in the gunfight in Hyderpora locality.

Police had said the bodies of all the four killed in the gunfight were buried in the Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Meanwhile, Bhat said that after the assurance by the police they would continue the protest tomorrow as well. 

“Insha Allah we will continue to protest till the bodies won’t be returned to the families for the last rites,” she said. 

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