Punish culprits and give us proof in a week, or will kill self at Lal Chowk: Slain Athar’s father

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Pulwama: Seeking a thorough inspection into the case, the father of one of the three youth who police and army claimed were militants and killed in a military operation, on Tuesday said that he will kill himself at Lal Chowk in Srinagar if the police failed in providing the proof that his son was involved in any militancy act.

The families maintain their kin were innocent and were “killed in a fake encounter”.

The three youth namely Athar Mushtaq, a resident of Bellow Pulwama, Aijaz Ahmad, a resident of Putrigam Pulwama and Zubair Ahmad lone of Turkewagan Shopain were killed in a military at Lawaypora in the outskirts of Srinagar on 30 December.

While police and army claim that the trio were militants, their families claim that they were innocent and killed in a staged encounter.

Addressing a group of media persons outside his home in Bellow Pulwama, Muhtstaq Ahmed Wani, father of Athar Mushtaq, questioned the JK administration’s silence on the ‘grave issue’ and said the only wish left in his life is to get the killers of his son punished.

He also threatened that if police fail to provide him with the proof within a week that his son, Athar, was involved in any militancy related act, he will go to Srinagar’s Lal Chowk and kill himself.

He said he will also approach the High Court and Supreme Court for the same, adding that the police has already given the report that the trio had no FIRs registered and today they are saying they were OGWs.

Adressing the people, Mushtaq said the incident happened with their family today, “who knows if the same happens with somebody else tomorrow. Rest you can understand,” he said.

“I can give it in writing that there will be no problem if you return the body of my son,” he said pleading to the police. “I request them to handover the dead body I will bury him during the night hours.”

The families of the two other deceased youth have also been echoing the same plea that either provide the proof that their kin were militants or return the bodies and punish the culprits.

Earlier, Mushtaq in a viral video that he had uploaded on social media had urged the media persons to visit his home and cover the presser today.

However, a group of reporters from Pulwama told Free Press Kashmir that they were not allowed by the police to cover the event.

“Police personnel stopped us and categorically told that they have received directions from higher-ups to not allow any media here,” said one of the reporters who wished to remain anonymous.

The video of the presser is viral on social media now.

Pertinently, 0n December 30, 2020, families of three “militants killed in a military operation” by a joint team of police, CRPF and Army at Lawaypora in city outskirts of Srinagar staged a protest, asserting that they were “innocent civilians”.

In this regard, the police had said, that “three unidentified militants have been killed while the house where militants were hiding suffered partial damage.”

The General officer Commanding (GoC) Kilo Force H S Sahi has said that three militants killed in Lawaypora on Srinagar outskirts were planning a big strike on the highway to gain publicity.

In a second statement, police said that three “militants” were killed in a gunfight in Lawaypora area and none of them was on its “list of militants, yet two of them were hardcore associates (OGWs) of militants while third one might have joined very recently.”

In a third statement issued by police on January 1, 2021, after claims by the families of slain trio were not linked with militancy, police said that “technical verification of the slain trio has revealed that two among the three slain were “radically inclined and were OGWs of Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit now TRF”.

On January 18, 2021, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar said that trio was ‘involved in militancy and was providing logistic support to militants’ and police will soon convince their parents with “concrete evidence.”

He said that the bodies of slain aren’t being handed over to families in view of the COVID pandemic as people would assemble in funerals and break the COVID protocol.


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