SIT gives clean chit to security agencies in Hyderpora incident

Foreign militant Haider and three locals were killed in operation

Updated - December 28, 2021 07:37 pm IST

Published - December 28, 2021 06:57 pm IST - Srinagar

DGP Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbagh Singh along with IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar and DIG CKR Sujit Kumar addressing a press conference regarding Hyderpora encounter in Srinagar,Tuesday, December 28, 2021.

DGP Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbagh Singh along with IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar and DIG CKR Sujit Kumar addressing a press conference regarding Hyderpora encounter in Srinagar,Tuesday, December 28, 2021.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Jammu and Kashmir police, headed by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sujit Kumar Singh, on Tuesday gave a clean chit to the security forces that carried out the November 16 Hyderpora operation in which non-local militant Haider and three locals were killed, triggering widespread protests.

“Prima facie evidence shows Dr. Mudasir Gul was shot dead by the foreign militant on the directions possibly from across [Pakistan]. Building owner Altaf Bhat was used as a human shield by the militant and was killed in a crossfire,” Mr. Singh stated at a press conference held along with Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh and IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar here.

The police claimed that the third civilian, Amir Magray from Ramban, was seen with the foreign militant prior to the encounter. “CCTV footage and other evidence showed that Magray had accompanied the militant during the Jamalata attack in Srinagar. Magray would often travel to Bandipora and Gurez, an angle that is still under investigation,” Mr. Singh said.

‘Living in Dr. Gul’s chamber’

According to the police, the militant was living in Dr. Gul’s chamber along with Magray, who worked as a helper with the doctor-turned-real estate dealer.

Also read: Hyderpora encounter | Return bodies to families: Gupkar alliance

The police said two pistols and four magazines were recovered from the encounter site. They were also investigating the slain building owner’s relation with Dr. Gul and his associate.

The families of Dr. Gul, Bhat and Magray had accused the security forces of using them as human shields and killing them in the anti-militancy operation. The police had to exhume and return the bodies of Dr. Gul and Bhat to their families in the wake of street demonstrations and protests by the regional political parties.

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on November 18 ordered a magisterial inquiry into the Hyderpora encounter and had promised “to take suitable action as soon as the report is submitted in a time-bound manner”.

Concocted: Gupkar alliance

The Gupkar alliance termed the SIT report “concocted” and a “cover-up”. “Today’s press briefing of J&K police about last month’s Hyderpora tragic incident is only a repetition of an old story. It does not even slightly give any objective picture of this shocking incident,” its spokesman M.Y. Tarigami said.

There was a strong public perception that the civilians killed in the incident were made human shields by security forces and the latest statement of the police seemed to be an concocted cover-up story, he stated.

“It will not suffice the legitimate concerns of the people at large and the families of the slain victims. The alliance firmly believes that nothing short of a credible judicial probe will clear the doubts. The administration must ,without any further delay, order a time-bound judicial probe,” he added.

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