Bodies exhumed, Indian army admits civilians Kashmiris' killing
10 November 2003
News Network International
Bodies exhumed: In occupied Kashmir, three years after the Chittisinghpora controversy and only the second time in the past 14 years of mass uprising, bodies of civilians branded militants and killed and buried by military forces were exhumed following assertions of a fake encounter. Soon after, an Army spokesman admitted that both the dead were civilians. The exhumation followed an order made under public pressure by Udhampur Deputy Commissioner Ashok Parmar to hold a magisterial inquiry into the death of the two men, killed in a joint operation by the police, BSF and the Army six days ago. Parmar took action after widespread protests by the local people at Gool calling the encounter fake, reports Kashmir Media Service. A team led by Assistant Commissioner Abdul Hafiz reached the town, in Udhampur district, Saturday and the bodies were exhumed by police in his presence. The deceased were identified as Abdul Majid and Abdul Karim, both residents of Gool, by the local people who had gathered there in large numbers. While Majid's brother along with some relatives had come to take his body home, no one from Karim's family was present. His body was taken to his home by some villagers. It may be recalled that in the 2000 Chittisinghpora case too, it was the pressure put by locals that had led to the exhumation of bodies. Police had killed and buried six people at Pathribal claiming they were the militants behind the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chittisinghpora. After widespread protests, the then puppet regime headed by Farooq Abdullah had ordered a probe and DNA testing of the bodies. However, in another cover-up, the DNA samples sent to Hyderabad for testing were found to have been tampered with, and the doctors who had collected the same were suspended. When the samples were later again sent for testing, the results showed the six deceased were local civilians.