4 newly recruited militants killed in twin Kashmir gunfights

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Murder case of Amreen Bhat solved within 24-hours, involved militants killed in Awantipora encounter; 10 militants killed in last 3 days in Kashmir: IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar

Srinagar, May 27: Four newly recruited militants affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit were killed in two separate encounters in Awantipora, Pulwama and Soura, Srinagar, police said on Friday.

As per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir zone, Vijay Kumar said that two newly recruited militants namely Shahid Mushtaq Bhat, resident of Hafroo, Chadoora Budgam and Farhan Habib, resident of Hakripora, Pulwama were killed in Awantipora, Pulwama encounter.

He said that the slain militants were involved in killing of TV artist Amreen Bhat and the attack was carried out on the instructions of LeT commander Lateef.

“Two newly recruited LeT militants from Shopian were killed in separate encounter in Soura area of Srinagar,” the IGP said. He said that ten militants including three from JeM and seven from LeT were killed in last three days in Kashmir.

He added that heinous murder case of Amreen Bhat has been solved within 24 hours.

Police in a statement said that police along with security forces have neutralized four militants of LeT in twin anti-militancy operations in Awantipora and Srinagar. “The slain include two militants who were involved in the killing of TV artist Amreen Bhat,” police said.

A police spokesperson said that on a specific input generated by Awantipora Police regarding presence of militants in village Aghanzipora area of Awantipora, a joint cordon & search operation was launched by Police, Army (55RR) and CRPF (130Bn) in the area.

“During the operation, as the joint search party was laying cordon around a cluster of houses, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, two local militants identified as Shahid Mushtaq Bhat, resident of Hafroo Chadoora, Budgam and Farhan Habib resident of Hakripora, Pulwama linked with proscribed outfit LeT were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” the spokesman said.

While interacting with the media, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that both the killed militants had joined militants’ ranks recently and were involved in killing of artist Amreen Bhat in Chadoora area of Budgam on the directions of LeT Commander Lateef.

The police spokesman said that Srinagar Police developed an input about movement of militants from South Kashmir to Srinagar city and tracked their presence in Soura area of Srinagar, a special and small team of Srinagar Police launched a cordon and search operation in the area.

“During the search, as the presence of militants was ascertained and search party proceeded towards suspected spot the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the spokesman said. “In the ensuing encounter, two militants of LeT were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They were identified as Shakir Ahmad Waza and Afreen Aftab Malik both residents of Trenz, Shopian.”

The police said that both the killed militants were categorized militants and were part of groups involved in several crime cases including attacks on Police and security forces.

“Incriminating materials, huge cache of arms & ammunition was recovered from both the sites of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation,” the spokesman said. IGP Kashmir congratulated the joint teams of Police/SF for their valour and determination to neutralize and avenge the killing of artist Amreen Bhat within 24hrs. He also termed these operations as a big success and stated that during past three days 10 militants including three from JeM and seven from LeT outfit were neutralized in Kashmir—(KNO)

High Court orders exhumation of body of Amir Magrey killed in Hyderpora encounter

Directs authorities to act with promptitude, don’t waste any further time; If body cannot be delivered, pay Rs 5 lakh to family of deceased; Family says satisfied with Court decision

Jehangeer Ganai

Srinagar, May 27 (KNO): The Jammu & Kashmir High Court on Friday ordered exhumation of the body of Amir Lateef Magrey, one of the four persons killed in controversial Hyderpora encounter.

A single bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar directed the government to make arrangements for exhumation of the body/remains of the deceased Amir Latief Magrey from the Wadder Payeen graveyard of Handwara in presence of his father.  “The respondents shall also make appropriate arrangement for transportation of the dead body to the village of the petitioner for according burial in his native graveyard in accordance with the traditions, religious obligations and religious faith which the deceased professed during his life time provided it is in deliverable state,” reads the order, a copy of which is in possession of news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

“Since the dead body of the deceased must be in advance stage of putrefaction, as such, it would be desirable that the respondents act with promptitude and do not waste any further time,” the judge directed.

The Court, however said, authorities are free to impose any reasonable terms and conditions in respect of exhumation, transportation and burial of the dead body of Amir Latief Magrey.

The Court said that if the body is highly putrefied and is not in deliverable state or is likely to pose risk to public health and hygiene, his father and his close relatives shall be allowed to perform last rites and the state shall pay to him a compensation of Rs five lakh for deprivation of his right to have the dead body of his son.

“Since the dead body of the deceased must be in advance stage of putrefaction, as such, it would be desirable that the respondents act with promptitude and do not waste any further time. However, if the body is highly putrefied and is not in deliverable state or is likely to pose risk to public health and hygiene, the petitioner and his close relatives shall be allowed to perform last rites as per their tradition and religious belief in the Wadder Payeen graveyard itself. In that situation, the State shall pay to the petitioner a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs for deprivation of his right to have the dead body of his son and give him decent burial as per family traditions, religious obligations and faith which the deceased professed when he was alive,” the Court ordered.

The Court said the decision of the authorities not to allow the petitioner to take away dead body of his son to his native village for last rites was per-se arbitrary and falls foul of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

The Court observed that authorities have not come clear as to why the dead bodies of two of the four killed in the encounter, namely, Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr. Mudasir Gul were exhumed and handed over to their relatives for their last rites in the graveyards of their choice and why the similar right claimed by the petitioner was denied.

“The respondents have tried to draw distinction by submitting that as per the investigation conducted by the SIT, the deceased son of the petitioner was a confirmed terrorist whereas the other two killed, namely, Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr. Mudasir Gul were only associates of the terrorists. I do not find any logic or sense in distinction so made by the respondents. It transpires that due to public pressure and demand by the relatives of the two deceased namely, Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Dr. Mudasir Gul, the respondents relented and permitted their dead bodies to be exhumed and handed over to their relatives. Since the petitioner was a resident of Gool, a remote village in Jammu Province and did not much say in the Valley and, therefore, his request was arbitrarily turned down. The action of the respondents is not traceable to any procedure established by law which is just, fair and equitable. At least none was brought to the notice of this Court,” the judge said.

The judge observed that right of the next of kin of the deceased to have their dear one cremated or buried as per the religious obligations and religious belief that the dead person professed during his life time, is part and parcel of right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

“The parents and close relations of the deceased are well within their right to demand the dead body of their dear one to be cremated or buried as per their traditions, religious obligations and religious belief. This right would also include the choice of the relatives to have the dead body cremated or buried at his native place. It is not uncommon that the graves of the dead are maintained by their relatives and are visited by their relations and close friends to pay respect and homage on certain occasions,” the court observed.

Meanwhile, Amir’s father, Muhammad Lateef Magray told KNO that he along with his family are very much satisfied with the decision of the court and hopefully very soon we will bury him here at his native village. He added that no body from government has contacted them so far—(KNO)

KP delegation meets LG Manoj Sinha; demand relocation to Jammu or any other place

Nothing worth life, promotions, accommodations can wait a bit; Got positive response from LG Admin, Submitted detailed memorandum: Avinash Bhat Spokesman

Nasir Azam 

Srinagar, May 27 (KNO): A 25-member Kashmiri Pandit delegation Friday met J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and demanded relocation from Kashmir to Jammu or some other place on fast-track basis stating that nothing was worth a life.

“Twenty five members from our community met LG Sinha. Top bureaucrats were also present there. They heard us patiently. We submitted our memorandum and told LG Sinha that we have only one main demand which is to relocate us from Kashmir to Jammu or some other place,” Avinash Bhat, Spokesman of KPs, said addressing media persons after meeting LG, as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO). He said that they got a positive response from the LG and the officers from the administration who assured them all possible support and help.

“LG Sinha assured us that we will be provided with a secure environment and safe accommodations and safe places of postings,” said Bhat, who was heading the KP delegation. He said that they told LG Sinha that Jaan Hai tou Jahan hai (nothing was worth life) and sought relocation from Kashmir to Jammu or some other place. We told LG Sir that promotions and accomodations can wait as our main demand was relocation from Kashmir.”

“We told LG Sir that we don’t want to stay in Kashmir and that we should be posted either in Jammu or some other place. We also urged LG Sir to allow us to reunite with our families back in Jammu,” Avinash said. He said relocation from  Kashmir to Jammu was their main demand during the meeting with LG Sinha.

“To our main demand, LG Sir told us that he along with his team of officers will think over it,” Avinash said, adding that “there was a possibility of more meetings with the LG Sir in the days ahead. Today we were given an appointment at 3 pm.” Bhat said that they will not call-off the protests till their main demand is met.

He said that KPs also presented the detailed memorandum to LG Sinha. The memorandum was titled as “Save Us.” Pertinent to mention is that KPs, especially those working in Kashmir under Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Package (PMRP) are up in arms since the past over two weeks after the killing of their colleague Rahul Bhat inside Tehsil office Chadoora, Budgam. The killing evoked widespread condemnation from all quarters including civil society members—(KNO)