English Politics

Azad demands judicial probe in Hyderpora encounter

Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday demanded a judicial inquiry into the Hyderpora encounter in which police claimed to have killed two terrorists and two terror associates.

The administration on Thursday ordered a magisterial probe into the encounter amid protests by families of three of the four persons killed in the encounter claiming their relatives were innocent.

“I demand a judicial inquiry into the Hyderpora encounter to find out how and why people were killed. It is a case of police and not of the Army. There should be an inquiry under a high court judge,” Azad told reporters in Kathua on Thursday.

He asked how can a police team probe allegations against the police themselves.

Azad said that while he respects the police and has been a great admirer of the Army and security forces, there is need to ensure that such things do not happen, especially in Srinagar city.

“If such things take place in the capital then people will question what must be happening in the hinterland,” he added.

The Congress leader referred to the probe in the Shopian encounter last year and said the Army delivered justice in the case.

He said that during his time as chief minister, justice was delivered to the families of three labourers killed in a fake encounter. The accused police officers were in jail for the last 13 years, Azad said.

It is time for police to provide justice, he said.

Azad also condemned the incidents of targeted killings that shook Kashmir last month.

“For 20 consecutive days, 6-8 targeted killings took place here. It’s been 3 months and we do not know anything. There should be a probe into this as well. We should get into the details of who was behind this and arrest them,” said.

The magisterial probe into the Hyderpora killings was ordered amid protests by the family members of Mohammad Altaf Bhat (the building owner), Mudasir Gul (a tenant) and Amir Magray (Gul’s office boy). They have described the killings as cold-blooded murder.

They have demanded that the bodies of the deceased be handed over to them for the last rites.

All the four persons killed in the encounter were buried in the Handwara area of Kupwara district.