The Hyderpora killings have raised a political storm in Kashmir with every party registering protest and seeking the handing over of the bodies of two of the four killed in the encounter to their families. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah sat on dharna on Thursday, Congress veteran leader Saifuddin Soz wrote a letter to LG and many other parties took out marches.
Accompanied by some senior party leaders, Omar Abdullah sat on dharna at the 'Gool Chakri' (Fourway traffic junction) in Sonwar area of Srinagar. When the reporters asked Omar about his reaction to the Lt. Governor's decision to hold a magisterial probe into the encounter, he said, "I have nothing to do with that magisterial probe. If I had anything to do with it, then I would not be sitting on dharna here.
"My demand is that the bodies of the civilians killed in this encounter be returned to their families".
Reacting to police statements on Hyderpora encounter, Omar Abdullah said, "I am still unable to understand what does the term hybrid militant mean.
"I was chief minister for 6 years. I headed unified headquarter meetings and would get intelligence reports. I never heard the term hybrid militant.
Condemning the Hyderpora incident, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz said that he has written a letter to the LG.
"Today, I have written strongly to the Hon'ble Lt. Governor, Shri Manoj Sinha regarding the recent Hyderpora Encounter and brought to his notice the public perception based on facts related to it.
"In my letter, I told the Lt. Governor that the killings could have been avoided if the representatives of the administrative machinery had adopted the method of getting to know the facts for a response that would be largely in the public interest.
"I laid great stress on the fact that the Killings of innocent civilians were a great sin, especially, when the killings necessarily provoked Social-Commotion," Soz said in his statement.
He further stated that he has told the Lt. Governor that the evidence of the episode clearly shows that the killings could have been avoided.
"I earnestly requested him to institute a high level enquiry into the episode so that facts come to light, keeping the larger public interest in view," he added.
"Meanwhile, I also earnestly requested Lt. Governor that the bodies of the slain Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Dr. Mudasir Gul and Aamir Ahmad should be handed over to the families concerned immediately for which they have been requesting the Administration, consistently."
The J&K Peoples Conference also held a protest demanding the return of bodies of the civilians killed in the Hyderpora encounter and initiation of a judicial probe by a serving High Court Judge into the matter.
The party's senior vice president Abdul Gani Vakil said that the Hyderpora encounter is strife with doubts when seen with perception of neutrality and it is only after impartial or neutral probe that the recent turn of events would be justly perceivable to every citizen of this country beyond a reasonable doubt.
"Our President Mr. Sajad Lone has already appealed to the Prime Minister for his personal intervention in ensuring justice is delivered to the families of the victims.
The LG has ordered a probe by an ADM rank officer, however, we demand a judicial probe by a sitting judge so that neutrality in the investigation is beyond doubt.
"We stand in solidarity with the families of Altaf Bhat and Dr. Mudassir Gul and share their pain and agony in this hour of grief. We also appeal to every media outlet and civil society of India to raise this issue with utmost urgency and sincerity", he added.