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Omar, Mehbooba demand return of bodies to families

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Srinagar: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday demanded that bodies of the three alleged militants killed in the Parimpora encounter last week be handed over to their families.

The leaders cited claims of their families that the three were innocent, though police had said they were radicalised and two of them had links with the Lashkar-e Taiba.

Abdullah said that the encounter should be probed in a fair and transparent manner.

“It is very important that the probe into this encounter be concluded at the earliest. Only a fair & transparent probe, already promised by @manojsinha_ , will satisfy the families who have lost their loved ones who they insist were innocent,” he tweeted.

The former chief minister said the union territory administration should, in the interim, hand over the bodies to their families.

“The LG has promised a fair & speedy probe into this encounter when @JKNC_ Lok sabha member @masoodi_hasnain spoke to him about it recently. In the interim we hope the LG will order the handing over of the bodies to the families,” he added.

Speaking in the same vein, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the Centre and the Union Territory administration should review the policy of not handing over the bodies of those killed in encounters with security forces.

The former chief minister claimed that during her tenure at the helm, she was also told not to return the bodies of the slain militants.

“I refused it as it is against humanity and our religious beliefs,” she said.

She claimed that it was not even clear if those killed were militants and urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to intervene.

“How long are you going to enforce the peace at gunpoint?  How are you going to win the hearts of the people here?” she asked.

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