Hyderpora encounter: SIT gives clean chit to forces, says youth was militant

It asserted that foreign militant Bilal Bhai and local militant Amir Magray were killed in the gunfight on November 15. 
An elderly Kashmiri man rides on his bicycle as government forces guard near the site of shootout that killed two suspected rebels on the outskirts of Srinagar. (Photo | AP)
An elderly Kashmiri man rides on his bicycle as government forces guard near the site of shootout that killed two suspected rebels on the outskirts of Srinagar. (Photo | AP)

SRINAGAR:  Giving a clean chit to security forces in the Hyderpora encounter, the J&K Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday said dentist Dr Mudasir Gul was shot dead by a foreign militant and that building owner Altaf Bhat was taken hostage and later killed in crossfire.

It asserted that foreign militant Bilal Bhai and local militant Amir Magray were killed in the gunfight on November 15. The families of Amir, Gul and Altaf had alleged that the trio was innocent and killed in a staged encounter. 

Deputy Inspector General Sujit Kumar Singh, who headed the SIT, said that after the building was cordoned off, police and army personnel found two rooms, one of Gul and another of Bhat, locked. Bhat, Gul who had rented space in the building, and his office boy Amir were asked whether any suspicious person was present, he said, adding the trio replied in negative and volunteered to accompany the forces during the search.

Amir knew that the foreign militant was present in the building, the DIG added. “CCTV footage and other evidence show Amir accompanying Bilal during the Jamalata attack.  Amir was a frequent traveller to Bandipora. He had also traveled to Baramulla and Gurez. He was a militant.”

Narrating the sequence of killings, Singh said the foreign militant, who was present in the building, killed the dentist. “Gul went to the room. It seems there was some argument and the foreign militant got orders from across that may be he had led to this operation. On suspicion, the foreign militant killed Gul in the attic.” 

The DIG said the foreign militant and Amir tried to take the building owner as human shield. “He (Altaf) was first to be killed in crossfire, followed by Amir a few steps ahead and the foreign militant about 83 ft away.” Two pistols, four magazines and 8-10 codeine bottles were recovered, Singh said.

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