‘Unidentified militant’ killed is our son, says Handwara family


A day after army claimed to have killed an unidentified militant in Hafruda forests of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, a local family on Wednesday said that the slain was not an insurgent but their missing son.

Local sources said that after recovering body of alleged militant from Hafruda forest, the army handed over it to police for last rites. However, as per the norm, the police went for postmortem. Sources said that doctors who were supposed to do autopsy raised the alarm about the identity of the alleged militant.

The doctors are learnt to have told the police that the slain does not appear a foreigner and is clean shaved. In the meanwhile, the locals also heard about the suspicion raised by doctors and they rushed to the spot. A close relative of the slain youth said that the police called the family on Wednesday and informed them about the body.

“The family after receiving the call arrived and identified the slain as their son namely Shahid Bashir Wani (22-23) from Daril Tarthpora in Vilgam Handwara,” he said, adding  “the slain youth was a college student. He had gone missing only two day ago after he left for mosque but didn’t return. Yesterday, the family lodged a complaint with police and today this episode happened.”

The locals said that the body has been handed over to the family for last rites. The killing of local youth triggered massive protests in Handwara and adjoining areas. “Massive protests are going on in the area and youths of the village have refused to bury the slain as they are demanding justice,” said the locals.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Range Munir Khan told GNS: “On specific information about the movement of militants, the army had launched cordon-and-search operation and after the army party was fired upon, it retaliated. Later a body was found that turned out to be that of the youth who I believe was a militant as he was moving with the militants.”

The IGP questioned as to what was the youth doing in the dense forests. The youth was also missing, he added.

Meanwhile massive protests have erupted in Tarathpora Handwara after the body reached in the area.

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