SRINAGAR: The National Conference Wednesday expressed dismay over the "clean chit" given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Jammu and Kashmir Police to security forces in the Hyderpora encounter, saying the report fails to address the legitimate concerns of the aggrieved families and the general public.
Demanding an independent investigation into the matter, NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said the "self-trial" by police in the form of SIT "stands rejected" by the affected families.
Therefore, an independent judicial probe headed by a sitting judge is necessary to clear the air on the versions put forward by the police and the one put forth by victim families, he said.
"The report's impartiality is under question mark as conflicting reports have earlier come from police as well. To clear the confusion, it is therefore imperative for the authorities to order an independent probe into the matter," he said.
Dar said, We are aware of the fact that police in J-K has to perform a difficult and delicate task, but that does not give them latitude to undermine truth, standard operational procedures and due deference to basic human rights.
"Given the stark contradiction between police and victim families versions, we demand an impartial and independent probe so that the real circumstances leading to the killings are brought to public view."
The NC spokesperson said it seems the SIT report did not give any objective picture of "this shocking incident".
"There is a strong public perception that the civilians killed in the incident were made human shields by the armed forces and the latest statement of the police seems to be a cover-up story, Therefore nothing short of a credible judicial probe will clear the doubts," he said.
The parents of Amir Magray, one of the four persons killed in the Hyderpora encounter, Wednesday rejected the police probe which suggested their son was a militant, with his mother threatening to kill herself and the family set to move the high court seeking the return of his body.
The special investigation team (SIT) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police probing the encounter said Tuesday that while one civilian was killed by a foreign terrorist, two others including a local "militant" (Magray) died in the crossfire after being used as a "human shield" by the hiding terrorist.
A Pakistani terrorist and three other persons were killed in Hyderpora on November 15 and the police had claimed that all the slain men had links to militancy.
The families of the three, alleging foul play, had said they were innocent, prompting the police to order the inquiry.
Separately, a magisterial probe was also ordered by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha in the encounter which was one of the rare operations carried out jointly by the army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police within the city limits.
In a 3.42-minute video, Amir's mother Mubeena termed the SIT version "completely baseless" and said she will consume poison to end her life if the body of her son was not returned to the family for burial within five days.
"They have killed my innocent son who was earning a living by working as a labourer and they have leveled false allegations against him. They are doing it for their promotion. I have decided to end my life by taking poison if they fail to return his body within five days and the government and those who leveled the allegations against my son will be responsible for my death," Mubeena said.
She said, "I know my son as I have brought him up in abject poverty, he was a polite boy and the whole village is mourning his death. They are not even allowing us to protest by deploying policemen."
Mubeena said she has been waiting for the return of the body since the encounter and "want to see my son for the last time".
Amir's father Mohd Latief rejected the police probe and said he is moving the high court to seek the return of his body.
"I outright reject the police probe as my son can never be a militant or a militant supporter," Latief, who has received state award for killing a Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist in 2007 and several citations for helping security forces to finish militancy from his Gool-Sangaldan block, told PTI.
Latief said he is moving a petition in the Jammu wing of the High Court through his lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat for the return of his son's body and will also discuss the next course of action.
Rajawat said all the formalities have been completed and on Thursday morning they are placing the petition for the return of the body before the registry.
On Tuesday, SIT head DIG Sujith K Singh, who had led the operation on November 15, virtually gave a clean chit to the security forces but added the team was open to reviewing its findings if any other evidence came to light.
"Our investigation so far has revealed that Dr Mudasir Gul was killed by the foreign terrorist hiding inside the building as his body was recovered from the attic. The security forces did not go to the attic at all during searches or subsequent operation," Singh told reporters in Srinagar.
Giving details of the investigation, Singh said the probe had revealed that Amir Magray, the employee of Dr Gul, was closely associated with the foreign terrorist, Bilal Bhai, who was killed trying to flee.
"Mohammad Altaf Bhat (building owner) and Amir were killed in the crossfire with security forces as they were used as a human shield by the foreign terrorist. It is substantiated by the fact the Altaf fell (after being hit by bullets) outside the door, while Amir had managed to run a few more steps and the foreign terrorist's body was found 83 feet away," he said.
However, the witnesses on the fateful day including the daughter of the house-owner had claimed on various social media platforms that her father and others were pushed into the house by the army and police personnel and had termed it as a murder.
Lt Gen D P Pandey, commander of strategically located XV corps, had termed the doctor and the businessman as a "hybrid terrorists" but after the public outrage following which the bodies of two civilians were handed over, the senior army officer had to eat a humble pie.
Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Hyderpora encounter threatened legal action against political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir for making speculative statements about the probe.