Kashmir extrajudicial killing: SC dismisses father’s plea for handing over son’s body

The Supreme Court Monday rejected a prayer by the father of a Kashmiri man killed in the “encounter” in Jammu and Kashmir’s Hyderpora last year seeking directions to allow the exhumation of his son’s body and handing it over to the family for performing last rites.

There is “nothing” on record “to indicate that deceased” Amir Magray “was not given a decent burial,” said the bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala.

The top court said that while it respects the emotions and sentiments of the appellants, the court of law should not decide the matter on the basis of sentiments but on the basis of rule of law.

The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court had earlier allowed the family to perform the last rites where the deceased was buried but the family insisted that the body be handed over to it to perform the rites.

The High Court had also directed payment of Rs 5 lakh to the family to compensate for the deprivation of their rights. The High Court had also observed that the government prima facie acted unfairly in the matter.

The deceased was a “terrorist” and exhuming the body now will lead to law and order problems, said the Jammu and Kashmir administration.

23-year-old Amir was killed by government forces on 15 November last year in an alleged gunfight that broke out in the evening hours in Hyderpora Srinagar.

Four persons were killed in the encounter, police have claimed. A foreign militant called Hyder, a local Militant – Amir Ahmad Magray, a militant associate – Dr Mudasir Gul and Altaf Ahmad Bhat. But the families of the trio; Amir, Gul and Altaf had rejected the police claims that their kin’s were militant or had any links by any means.

Along with the two Srinagar families, the father of Amir says his son’s killing was a “conspiracy”. “A cold-blooded fake encounter.”

“I only want justice. I only want the body of my son. Whatever happens after that, I don’t care,” Muhammad Lateef Magray, Amir’s father earlier told Maktoob.