Section 144 in parts of Ramban as an alleged militant killed at Hyderpora happened to be the kin of a person awarded for killing a militant

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BUNTY MAHAJAN

JAMMU, NOVEMBER 17: The UT administration on Wednesday imposed restrictions on the assembly of four or more people in parts of Gool tehsil of Ramban district after one of the alleged militants killed in Hyderpora encounter got identified as son of Abdul Latief Magray, recipient of the State’s Bravery Award for having killed an armed militant.

Ramban Additional Deputy Commissioner Harbans Lal Sharma ordered imposition of restrictions on assembly of people under section 144 CrPC in Famrote, Sangaldan and Serikot areas till further orders.

Identified as Amir Magray of Thatharka in Gool tehsil, the alleged militant was among the four killed during an encounter by police in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area on Monday. Later, police identified them as a Pakistani militant Bilal Bhai code Haider, his accomplice from Ramban (Amir Magray), owner of the building  Altaf Ahmad and his tenant Mudasir Ahmad.

A senior police officer said that though there is peace in the area and shops are open, restrictions have been imposed as a precautionary measure.

Magray, an employee in PHE Department, had in 2005, killed a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant when the latter entered his residence at Thatharka in Gool tehsil and opened indiscriminate fire, killing his elder brother Abdul Qayoom, according to a citation given to him along with the bravery award in 2012.

“Latief sustained injuries and fled towards the roof of the house from there, he threw a stone on the militant who fell down. In the meantime, wife of Abdul Qayoom with the help of her son snatched rifle from the militant. Abdul Latief came back from the roof and after taking the rifle, fired on the militant thereby killing him on the spot,’’ read the citation.

 Earlier in 2006, he was awarded GoC-in-C commendation certificate by the then Northern Army Commander in appreciation to his work in the counter insurgency force in the area during 2005-06.

However, for his anti-terror activity, Latief along with his family and other relatives had to migrate to Udhampur town where he first stayed in an Ashram and later in a rented accommodation. He returned to Thatharka in 2011 and the then state government established a permanent police picket at his residence which continues to be there even today.

“How can my son be a militant as I have myself been fighting militants during peak militancy in the area,’’ he said, adding “like me, my son was also a nationalist’’. “However, he had been killed by police on identification of some `source’ who may have taken money from someone under a conspiracy,’’ he said.

“I am still a nationalist,’’ he said, requesting the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to do justice to him by ordering a judicial enquiry into the matter and returning his son’s body to the family for his burrial. “We are Indians and I have shed my blood for the nation,’’ he added.

Amir was the second of Latief’s four sons and a daughter. While his eldest son is a labourer settled in Delhi along with his wife and children, one of his son is doing B.Tech from Gujarat and another a class 12 student.

Pointing out that he was informed about Amir’s killing on phone by someone from Sangaldaan police post on Tuesday morning, Latief said he was on way to Udhampur at that time. “I immediately returned to Ramban from Chanderkote and called two-three sarpanches and proceeded towards Srinagar,’’ he said. “However, we returned empty handed the same day as police did not handover his body to us,’’ he added.

Latief said that Amir had gone to Srinagar only 6-7 months ago and he started working as an office boy with the dentist who too was killed in the encounter.

Meanwhile, PDP leaders led by former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here held a demonstration against the killing of “civilians’’ in Hyderpora encounter. “I am protesting because this government kills civilians in the name of militancy. Nobody knows if militants are being killed. Three civilians have been killed recently. The government refuses to hand over their dead bodies to the families despite the latter’s demand,” she said.