Soldiers are not angles, says Sikh activist
Srinagar, Jan 4: Families of youth killed in Srinagar encounter staged a massive protest amid snowfall at Press Enclave Srinagar demanding the bodies of their sons and an impartial investigation into the what they called ‘fake encounter.’
Pertinently, three youth Athar Mushtaq of Bailow Pulwama, Ajaz Maqbool Ganai of Mitrigam Pulwama and Zubair Muhammad Lone, a resident of Turkawangam Shopian were killed on 30 December at Lawaypora Srinagar ‘encounter’. Police said that two among them were ‘hardcore’ militant associates while third one might have joined the militancy recently.
The families however termed the encounter a ‘staged’ one claiming all the three youth were students and not militants.
The family members of the slain youth assembled at Press Enclave on Monday demanding impartial probe and handing over the bodies to them.
They were carrying placards that read: “They were innocent. They were students, Handover their bodies to families.”
All these three youth have been buried in Sonmarg area of Central Kashmir.
“Athar was only 17. I am his aunt and can tell you with authority that he was innocent. He was killed in cold blood,” said Mehbooba to KNT.
The parents of slain youth raised hue and cry seeking justice. “We are demanding their bodies and nothing else. We vouch for their innocence. They were students killed mercilessly. We have dug graves for them in our native village. We want to have their last glimpse. Please return the bodies of our innocent beloveds,” the parents cried.
A local Sikh activist Angadh Singh Khalsa who was also part of the protest told reporters soldier are not angles but humans and humans are fallible. “How can you act as court, judge and lawyer and pass a verdict against the claims of families. We demand that case should be investigated and past of these young slain youth should be investigated as well. One among them was just 17 who was a student and never had any links with armed activity. How can you dub them as over ground workers?,” he said.
He said these families have not arrived in Srinagar to create any disturbance but they are seeking justice. “If police is claiming they were OGWs then give us proof. Police is saying relatives of these young boys had links with militants in past but I am telling you that in Kashmir everyone’s relatives had links with armed activity in past. This is a lame excuse. The case should be investigated impartially and probe should be orders,” Singh said.
He said they have two demands. “One is to investigate case impartially and another is to handover the bodies to families.” (KNT)