‘Amir let go after frisking, spent 30 mins at hospital, before killed’: Eyewitnesses on Hyderpora ‘gunfight’

Nov 23, 2021 | Brutality by Occupying Forces

One of the civilians, claimed to to be ‘hybrid militant’ by the police, killed in the alleged gunfight in Hyderpora area of Srinagar on Monday, had spent half an hour in the nearby hospital after being frisked by the troops outside the building.

Twenty-two-year-old Amir Ahmad Magray, a resident of Ramban district of Jammu division, who was working as an employee in the Hyderpora building, had spent almost half an hour in the nearby Classic hospital, while the rest of the people, including Mohammad Altaf Bhat and Mudasir Gul, were kept in the premises of a nearby showroom.

Talking to The Kashmir Walla, hospital employees said that a few police personnel visited the hospital on Monday evening and told them to close the main gate and don’t let anyone enter inside the premises.

“So, we closed the gate and were sitting on the lawn,” said the employees, who spoke to The Kashmir Walla requesting not to be named. The employees said that within a few minutes, they heard a knock on the gate and after they opened the gate, “it was Amir”.

“We all knew Amir as he used to come for lunch every day at the hospital canteen. So, we let him in and asked him what was happening outside,” the employees said.

“He [Amir] told us that the troops have cordoned the area and are searching the buildings,” they said.

The employees said that Amir sat with them for 30 minutes. “He had a glass of water and smoked a cigarette, and was talking with us for almost half-an-hour,” the employees said.

“After half an hour, two policemen and one person in civilian clothes came and asked Amir to accompany them to open the office for search purposes. So, Amir went along with them,” the employees said. “That was the last time we saw him. Later, we came to know that he was killed during a gunfight.”

The Jammu and Kashmir police claimed that Amir was a “hybrid militant” and was killed along with three others during a gunfight in Hyderpora area of Srinagar on Monday. But the family of three – Amir, Muhammad Altaf Bhat and Mudasir Gul, who were killed too, have rejected the police claims. However, all the three families have said that the trio were innocent civilians and had nothing to do with militancy.

Amir’s family, raising the question about him being a “hybrid militant”, said that why he didn’t run away when he was earlier cleared by the search party after getting frisked.

“Why, instead of running from the spot, he [Amir] sat on the hospital lawn. If he was a militant and he knew that troops are looking after him, he would easily escaped when he let go after the search,” said Muhammad Lateef Magray, father of Amir, told The Kashmir Walla over the phone from Ramban.

Magray alleged that after being recalled from the hospital, “the troops killed Amir outside the building.”

“My son was killed on the street, there are still bullet marks and blood stains, which was later covered with sand,” Magray alleged.

“He was living with his sister and brother-in-law in the same building. His sister returned home just two months back. If it was a militant hideout, would he keep his sister with him,” Magray said.

A resident of Gool tehsil in Ramban district, Magray, a Public Engineering Department employee, reiterated that his family was patriotic and have fought against the militancy in their district.

“I had killed a militant and was awarded by the government for my bravery. Today, the government is calling my own son a militant,” he said.

Magray said that the family would visit the Deputy Commissioner’s Ramban office on Friday to demand for the body and would plan the next move accordingly.

“Tomorrow morning we will visit the DC office and repeat our demand for the body. Let us see what will happen,” he said.

Amir was a Hafiz and had done his Islamic course from Bandipora district. He also went to Deoband to complete the Qari course.

As reported earlier, The Kashmir Walla while speaking with the eyewitnesses on the spot, one among the relatives of Bhat, said that he saw Amir, who was a helper to Mudasir coming down from the building when troops cordoned the area.

According to the eyewitness account, Amir was coming down from the building (the alleged gunfight site) when troops frisked him and was asked to hand over his phone, which he was not carrying along with him.

“I heard him [Amir] telling the troops that his phone is not with him,” said the eyewitness. After frisking Amir, the eyewitnesses saw him walking towards the nearby hospital.

Eyewitnesses said that before Mudasir was taken along, the troops also asked him to call Amir back to the office.

“Before taking Mudasir along, an officer asked Mudasir to recall Amir to the office. But we don’t know how he [Amir] was killed,” they said.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the Hyderpora encounter.

A magisterial inquiry by an officer of ADM rank has been ordered in the alleged gunfight by the Jammu and Kashmir administration. “Government will take suitable action as soon as [the] report is submitted in a time-bound manner,” said the L-G Manoj Sinha.

Junaid Kathju | The Kashmir Wala