Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday issued directions to exhume the body of a Banihal resident, who was among the four persons killed in the controversial Srinagar encounter at Hyderpora in November last year.
The Court directed the government to facilitate the transportation of Amir Magrey’s body to his hometown in Gool Ramban in Jammu and if the body was decomposed, the government was asked to pay Rs five lakh compensation to the family.
On November 15, Police said four persons, including a foreign militant, were killed during an encounter at Hyderpora. The families, however, alleged that three civilians – Altaf Bhat, Mudassir Gul and Amir Magray were killed in a ‘staged encounter’.
The bodies of all four were buried at Wadder Payeen in frontier Kupwara district.
After an outrage, Police constituted a Special Investigation Team and it concluded that a doctor (Mudassir Gul) and a businessman (Altaf Bhat) were either used as human shield by militants, or killed by them during the encounter.
At the same time, the SIT said that Gul had harboured militants.
The SIT, however, said Magrey, who was working at Gul’s office, was a close associate of the killed Pakistani militant.
After protests, the bodies of Shah and Gul were exhumed and handed over to family.
Father of Amir, Mohammad Latief Magrey, later filed a petition in the High Court seeking the body of his son.
Judge Sanjeev Kumar allowed the petition and directed the government to make arrangements for exhumation of the body of Amir from the Wadder Payeen graveyard, in presence of the petitioner.
“The respondents shall also make appropriate arrangement for transportation of the body to the village of the petitioner for according burial in his native graveyard, in accordance with the traditions, religious obligations and religious faith…,” the Court order read.
The court said the government was free to impose any reasonable terms and conditions in respect of exhumation, transportation and burial of the body.
“Since the body of the deceased must be in advance stage of putrefaction, as such, it would be desirable that the respondents act with promptitude and do not waste any further time.
However, if the body is highly putrefied and not in deliverable state or is likely to pose risk to public health and hygiene, the petitioner and his close relatives shall be allowed to perform last rites as per their tradition and religious belief in the Wadder Payeen graveyard itself,” it added.
“In that situation, the state shall pay to the petitioner a compensation of Rs five lakh for deprivation of his right to have the dead body of his son and give him decent burial as per family traditions, religious obligations and faith, which the deceased professed when he was alive,” the court directed.
The court said the “apprehension of law and order getting vitiated” because of the exhumation at this point of time appears to be illusory.
“When the respondents could maintain the law and order situation when the dead bodies of two, namely, Altaf Ahmad Bhat and Mudasir Gul were exhumed and handed over to their relatives for last rites on November 18, 2021, it is not difficult for the respondents to make necessary arrangements for exhumation of the dead body of Amir Latief Magrey, the son of the petitioner and transport the same in proper escort to Village Thatharka Seripora Tehsil Gool District Ramban,” it added.