‘Terror associates’ or ‘human shields’? Three men killed in a recent Srinagar gunfight

Their families allege they were killed 'in cold blood'. From left to right: Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Mudasir Gul, Amir Ahmad Magray (Image: Scroll)

Their families allege they were killed 'in cold blood'. From left to right: Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Mudasir Gul, Amir Ahmad Magray (Image: Scroll)

His buddies and loved ones describe Altaf Ahmad Bhat as a easy man, constantly disturbing to live out of trouble. The 45-year-antique had 3 younger kids and threw all his energies into jogging his enterprise, a store promoting production materials. He had commenced his enterprise younger. 

On maximum days, you will locate him in his store off the motorway in Hyderpora, an prosperous vicinity withinside the outer reaches of Srinagar. He had lived all his existence withinside the city’s Barzulla locality. Recently, he moved into a brand new residence he had constructed close to his ancestral home. 

“His residence doesn’t have a right gate but as production paintings remain going on,” stated a relative. Bhat turned into an introvert, his family say, even though he continually wore a grin on his face. “Since his safe turned into the motorway, wherein there may be protection spherical the clock, he might percentage his tea with the troops deployed close to his store,” stated one relative. “He became pleasant with them. “As a resident of garrisoned and barricaded Srinagar, Bhat additionally feared the police and the army – there has been no telling who will be the subsequent sufferer of safety crackdowns or gunfights among militants and armed forces. 

“He might panic on the sight of armed forces,” stated his niece, journalist Saima Bhat.So whilst safety forces rotated Hyderpora at the night of November 15 and requested Baht to accompany them on a search, he turned into visibly disturbed. He might be killed within hours, branded a “terror associate” with the aid of the Jammu and Kashmir Police. 
His own circle of relatives insist Bhat turned into used as a “human shield” through protection forces in a staged gunfight. 

The ‘encounter’ 
On the night of November 15, the police said that a gunfight had broken out among militants and safety forces in Hyderpora. According to the assertion, a joint group of the police, the Army’s 2 Rashtriya Rifles and the Central Reserve Police Force had released a cordon and seek operation primarily based totally on a “unique input” approximately the “presence of terrorists in an unlawful name centre rented for enterprise in a non-public constructing”. 

The subsequent morning, Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar instructed newshounds that 4 individuals have been killed withinside the gunfight, which include  militants. The police diagnosed the militants as Haider, a Pakistani national, and Amir Ahmad, from the Banihal region of Jammu’s Ramban district. His complete call turned into later discovered to be Amir Ahmad Magray. 

The  different guys killed have been diagnosed as Bhat, who owned the constructing wherein the alleged gunfight took place, and Mudasir Gul, a doctor-turned-businessman who rented the primary ground of the constructing for his offices. 

“In order to expose the suspect name centre withinside the constructing, [the] proprietor of the constructing specifically Altaf Ahmad in addition to the tenant particularly Mudasir Ahmad have been additionally known as to accompany the hunt birthday celebration,” stated the police declaration issued on November sixteen. 

“As the quest celebration approached in the direction of [sic] a room in [the] pinnacle ground of the construction, the hiding terrorists began firing indiscriminately toward the birthday celebration which retaliated. However, withinside the preliminary trade of hearthplace, each the people accompanying [the] seek birthday celebration acquired essential gunshot accidents and succumbed to their accidents. “While police initially stated that each Bhat and Gul had been “terror associates”, it later amended this version. 

The declaration issued on November sixteen did no longer recommend Bhat turned into worry in militant activities. It did, however, declare that Gul had “facilitated” the breakout of an overseas militant after he opened a hearthplace at the police in Srinagar’s downtown region on November 14. 

The declaration additionally accused Gul of going for walks to an “unlawful name centre” from the rented premises. 

Lieutenant General DP Pandey, preferred officer commanding of the Army’s 15 Corps, echoed those claims and called Gul a “white-collared terrorist”. “People who act behind [the scenes]... to recruit and fund terrorism in Kashmir must be puzzled through our people,” he stated. 

In this case, the police are nevertheless to provide any proof that Bhat became worried in militancy, certainly considered one among his household states. But the households aren't even soliciting for justice. 

“Justice is a massive factor in Kashmir,” he stated. “All we desire is to have a glimpse of the lifeless body, in order that his kids and his circle of relatives can mourn properly.”




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