Families demand return of bodies labelled as ‘unidentified’

Shopian: Two families from Shopian on Saturday demanded the return of bodies of two militants labelled “unidentified” by the police and sent to burial in Baramulla. Family members of militant Asif Ahmad Dar of Bongam area of Shopian town told Kashmir Reader that their slain son called them on the phone when he was trapped. “I got a phone call from my brother Asif around 5 am of Friday morning and he told me that he has been trapped and there are no chances to escape,” said the elder brother of the slain, who according to the police is an identified body.

Asif, according to locals, was accompanied by another local militant Rahil Ahmed (Aashiq) of Ganowpora village of the district. “Around 7 am, I called SHO on phone and told him that his brother has been trapped in a cordon and his body should be returned if he is killed,” said Asif’s elder brother Muhammad Raafi, adding, “The officer responded that if he was your brother, he will be given to the family for last rites.”

Mubashir Ahmad, a cousin of the slain, said that when the body was not returned, they went to deputy commissioner and asked about returning of bodies – who according to him said that it will be returned in the evening provided there should be no crowding. “We gave him assurance, even in writing that only a few people will perform the funeral prayers and burial will be held soon after that,” Mubashir said. Family members said that bodies were not returned till Saturday and they again visited deputy commissioner’s office for intervention. “We were told that we have to take up the matter with deputy commissioner Baramulla since the bodies were buried there,” Raafi said. Shopian police on Friday denied that both the militants were locals. They said both were unidentified bodies and were sent to Baramulla for burial.

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