The Lead

Hyderpora encounter: Exhume bodies of slain, hand them over to families for last rites: Omar Abdullah

SRINAGAR: National Conference vice-president and the former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah Thursday said bodies of civilians killed in Hyderpora encounter should be exhumed in Handwara and handed over to their families for last rites. He, however, said that at this stage, he has nothing to do with the inquiry ordered by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

Omar led a sit-in of party leaders at a local park at Sonwar here, a few meters away from his Gupkar residence, against the “government’s denial in handing over bodies of those killed in Hydepora encounter to their families for last rites.”

Speaking to reporters, Omar said he doesn’t ask for anything except the bodies of those buried in Handwara. “I had decided not to stage a sit-in but to knock on other doors but the way families of the slain were treated yesterday evening, I couldn’t control myself and decided to raise my voice,” the NC leader said.

“The families were first called to the SP office and then to PCR and then asked to wait for two, three days. So I had no option but to join the families in protest.”

He said that at this stage he has nothing to do with the inquiry ordered into the Hyderpora encounter. “J&K police has itself admitted that civilians were killed in the crossfire. I want their bodies to be exhumed from Handwara and the same be handed over to their families for last rites,” said Omar, who was flanked by senior party leaders in the local park here.

Asked about “Hybrid militants”, the former chief minister of J&K said that he has chaired a series of UHQ meetings when he was heading the erstwhile State. “I have read so many intelligence reports and I do watch happenings across the world but I haven’t heard about Hybrid militants. Some should make me understand what it means,” he said and reiterated that bodies of those slain in Hyderpora encounter be handed over to their families—(KNO)


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