Hurriyat expresses concern over “cold-blooded custodial killings of young boys arrested and then killed in so-called encounters with terrorists”

A day after a “hybrid terrorist” was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir, the Hurriyat, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on Monday alleged that young boys “are falsely labelled as hybrid terrorists” and killed in custody. Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti also raised questions over the encounter.

“The Hurriyat expresses grave concern and anguish over the cold-blooded custodial killings of young boys arrested and then killed in so-called ‘encounters with terrorists’,” a Hurriyat spokesman said.

According to the Hurriyat, Shahid Ahmad Tantray, a resident of Shirpora, Kulgam, was arrested by the J&K police as a so-called “hybrid terrorist” and later claimed to have been killed during a gunfight.

“This is the second such custodial killing in just over a month in south Kashmir as another youth labelled a hybrid terrorist, Imran Bashir Ganaie, was arrested and later killed in a similar fashion ‘while he was taken to identify a terrorist hideout’,” the Mirwaiz’s Hurriyat alleged.

The Hurriyat said the situation has become sinister with the killings “as the lives of these arrested young men are in grave danger while in custody”.

“The Hurriyat fervently appeals to all conscientious people of India and outside, and rights organisations to take note of these killings and raise their voice and ask for probe into these killings by independent agencies,” the Hurriyat said.

PDP president Ms. Mufti also raised questions over the “encounter”. “Another Kashmiri accused of being a hybrid terrorist is killed in police custody. The same story is repeated where an alleged terrorist is taken to a hideout and subsequently shot at under mysterious circumstances. No accountability whatsoever,” Ms. Mufti said.

The J&K Police on Sunday said Tantray alias Furqan had confessed to his involvement in an attack on outsider labourers on November 12-13 in Anantnag’s Bijbehara, in which one labourer lost his life and another was critically injured.

“Tantray confessed of having knowledge about the presence of terrorists at Cheki Duddo area of Bijbehara, following which a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police and Army’s 3 Rashtriya Rifles. While the search party approached the suspected hideout identified by the accused, they came under heavy volume of fire from the hiding terrorists in which the said accused Tantray received critical gunshot injuries. The injured was immediately shifted to SDH (Sub-District Hospital) Bijbehara where doctors declared him dead,” the police said.