A Kashmiri father seeking the dead body of his teenage son, who was martyred by the occupation forces in a fake encounter in December 2020 in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), has been booked along with his two brothers by Indian police under the anti-terror law.
“Police said Mushtaq Ahmed and six others, including his two brothers, were charged last week under India’s harsh anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” a foreign news agency reported.
The victim, Athar Mushtaq Wani, along with two others was killed by Indian troops during a fake encounter in the Lawaypora area of Srinagar on December 30, 2020. The Indian authorities had buried them in a remote graveyard about 115 kilometres from their ancestral villages.
Under a policy started in April 2020, Indian authorities have buried over 150 alleged Kashmiri rebels in unmarked graves, denying their families proper funerals. The policy has added to widespread anti-India anger in the region.
The young men’s families have protested repeatedly seeking their bodies while insisting they were not militants and were killed in cold blood.
The killings and remote burial drew widespread public mourning. Videos on social media in which Ahmed sought his son’s body triggered an outburst of emotions as thousands rallied behind a “return the bodies” campaign, it added.
Last month, Ahmed dug a grave for his son at his village, demanding that his body be exhumed and returned for burial at his ancestral graveyard. The grave remains empty.
Meanwhile, India is being vehemently criticised, both at home and abroad, for registering a case under draconian laws against a father of one of the three Srinagar fake encounter victims for demanding the body of his martyred son, Kashmir Media Service (KMS) reported.
Following strong criticism by the Hurriyat forum, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and former IIOJK Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, India is being grilled globally for booking the father for demanding his son’s body.
Kashmiri human rights lawyer, Habeel Iqbal, said, “A father demanding the dead body of his son is being booked under the anti-terror legislation is an instance where the law is being used as an instrument of oppression to create a sense of fear among citizens, an attempt to create a reign of terror in the minds of ordinary citizens.”
He pointed out that the policy of not returning the dead bodies of the youth was a “violation of international armed conflict law and humanitarian law.—TLTP