Hyderpora shoot-out should be probed

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The encounter at Hyderpora area in the outskirts of Srinagar city wherein Police said that one Pakistani militant, his associate and an OGW besides the building owner were killed, has raised many an eye brows here as the family of the building owner and the one whom Police claims to be an ‘OGW’ have disputed Police version and described their killing as ‘deliberate murder.’ Kashmir’s Police chief, Vijay Kumar has asserted that one Pakistani militant, his associate, probably from Banihal and an OGW were killed by the forces while as the building owner got killed in the cross-fire and that the investigations were on to find out ‘whether he was hit by a bullet from the pistols of the hiding militants.’ About Mudasir Ahmed, whom he described as OGW, IGP said that he had provided shelter to the killed militant Haider and his associate. “This way he was harbouring militants”. Police statement notwithstanding, the claims made by the families of two civilians who were killed in Hyderpora shoot-out should be looked into and probed properly. While Mudasir’s family out rightly reject Police claim of him being an OGW, the family of the house owner firmly believes that he was used as human shield and thus deliberately murdered. The video of the daughter of the house owner, that has gone viral, is heart wrenching wherein the little girl said that when she asked the security personnel why they killed his father. ‘they shamelessly laughed.’

The allegations are serious, the circumstantial evidences are conflicting, statements of police are based on assumptions and except one reality that a Pakistani militant was killed there, rest remains and will continue to remain controversial unless an impartial probe is conducted and the truth brought to light. The contrasting versions of the killings have shocked one and all in the Valley and have raised doubts in many a minds which could be put to rest only once a probe is conducted and all the questions raised by the family members are answered to their satisfaction. Though the Police have said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police will probe the modus operandi of a hi-tech hideout at Hyderpora were many mobile phones and computers were recovered and that the team will also investigate the sequence of events that led to killing of building owner and militant associate, such probes will not satisfy the grieving families. Kashmir has been witness to hundreds of such probes and that is why need is to have an impartial judicial probe to avoid any chances of ‘you scratch my back, I yours’ scenario. Time has come that the incumbent administration conveys to the people that it is different than the earlier ones and orders an impartial probe, ensures that it is completed within stipulated time and that it answers all the questions that are haunting the bereaved families.

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