Bandipora Encounter: Families of slain militants protest to get back bodies
Srinagar, Oct 11: Families of the militants killed in an encounter at Sumlar, Bandipora, in north Kashmir on Thursday asked for the bodies to carry out their last rites.
Staging a protest at the Press Enclave here, they accused the government of delaying the legal formalities.
Police, on September 21, claimed to have killed five foreign militants in the gunfight.
Soon after, however, operational spokesperson of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militant outfit, Burhanuddin, said those killed were locals.
He identified the slain as Hyder Ali of Brazul, Kulgam, Muhammad Umar of Shopian, Muhammad Sidiq of Bandipora, Mawiya of Kangan, and Usman of Lolab.
The protesting family members said they have been struggling to get the bodies.
“For the last almost 20 days, we are moving from pillar to post to get the bodies. But we are only getting assurances. We have been in touch with the civil and police administration in Bandipora and Pulwama districts,” said Ghulam Hassan Lone, a close relative of the slain militant from Pulwama.
“The DNA samples of the parents have been taken, yet the bodies are not being handed over to us.”
Latief Ahmad Kalas, relative of another militant, said, “The DNA samples were taken on September 25, and we were told that the results would come within seven days. We fail to understand as to why the authorities are not giving their bodies.”
“Why are the authorities not sharing the DNA results?”
The protesters claimed that the slain militants have been buried in a graveyard at Baramulla.
“As per our information, they have been laid to rest in a graveyard at Boniyar, Baramulla. We want the bodies back to perform the last rites,” said one of the protesters.