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‘Will remain silent if our sons turn out militants’ ‘Give me the body of Athar, will bury him in middle of the night: Father

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A day after Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone Vijay Kumar said that bodies of 3 ‘militants’ killed in Srinagar encounter won’t be handed over to families in wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the father of one of the slain youth today said that he will give in writing that there will be no problem.

“Hand over the body of Athar to me in the dead of the night. I promise, I will lay him to rest in darkness in absence of people in the grave that I have dug for him. My ailing father and mother want to see his face last time,” Mushtaq Ahmed Wani told Reporters in Belou village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district today.

Pertinently, three youth from South Kashmir, 2 from Pulwama and one from Shopian district were killed in an encounter on 30 December last month in Lawaypora area of Srinagar outskirts.

Shortly after the encounter families had termed the encounter ‘fake’ after describing the slain youth as students. All these three slain youth Zubair Ahmed from Turkwangam Shopian, Ajaz Maqbool of Mitrigam Pulwama and Athar Mushtaq from Belou Pulwama were buried in Sonmarg area of Central Kashmir.

Ever since the encounter, families are demanding the bodies of these 3 slain youth.
Eyewitnesses told news agency Kashmir News Trust that relatives of slain Athar Wani and Zubair Ahmed and some villagers took out a peaceful march that passed in the lanes of Belou village. The participants were carrying black banners seeking dead bodies of trio.

The father of Athar said that recently his relative policeman was killed in a militant attack in Natipora Srinagar and he himself participated in his funeral. “Over 10,000 people were part of the funeral of that policeman. When the body was returned to the family and people participated in his funeral despite Covid SOPs in force, why the body of my son will not be handed over to me. I will give in writing that I will bury my son in the middle of the night. Handover the body during night hours and I will bury him without violating Covid SOPs,” Mushtaq Ahmed said.

“First they kill my son and now claim is being made that they are gathering evidences. What kind of justice it is that you kill a person and later collect evidences,” he said.

The grandfather of Athar said that he was a student and not militant. “Before he was killed, Athar regularly slept on bed beside me as he was suffering from an ailment. Suddenly, he was dubbed as militant and was killed,” he said.

Muhammad Yousuf Shah, the relative of another slain youth Zubair Ahmed said that incumbent LG is a reasonable Governor and they expect justice from him. “If our sons turn out militants we will remain silent and won’t claim their bodies, but when there is no proof that can link them with militancy, the authorities should handover the bodies so that they can be laid to rest at their native villages,” he said. (KNT)

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