"Why are innocent children being killed?": Family denies police allegations of 24-year-old killed in Hyderpora encounter having militancy links

23 November, 2021

On 16 November, the Jammu and Kashmir police claimed they had killed a militant and his associate—Haider and Amir Ahmad—in an operation that resulted in cross firing at a building in Srinagar’s Hyderpora the previous day. According to the police, Altaf Bhat, the building’s owner, and his tenant Mudasir Gul, a dentist-turned-businessman, had accompanied the search party and were also killed during the operation. The police further claimed that according to its probe, Gul worked as a “terrorist associate.”

The police buried bodies of Ahmad, Bhat and Gul on its own, without returning it to their families, in a graveyard meant for militants in Kupwara district. Families of all three have denied that their kin had links to militancy. After much outrage across the Valley, the bodies of Bhat and Gul were exhumed and returned.

But the body of 24-year-old Ahmad was not returned to his family. His family—including his father, who was a former source of the Indian Army—continues to plead for the body to be returned.

On 18 November, the Jammu and Kashmir administration ordered an inquiry by an Additional District Magistrate into the military operation. However, families of Ahmad, Bhat and Gul said that they had not been approached for the inquiry even till 22 November. The Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police did not respond to queries sent by The Caravan.