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Migrant Kashmiri Pandits call Hyderpora incident 'homicide'

Srinagar, Nov 17 (IANS) An organisation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits on Wednesday termed the Hyderpora encounter in J&K's Srinagar district "homicide" and demanded a probe into the incident.

According to Satish Mahaldar, chairman of Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits: "The Hyderpora incident seems to be a clear cut case of homicide."

"Murder is the unjustified killing of one human by another with malice aforethought. The families of two of the four killed in the Monday gunfight have categorically disputed the police version," he claimed.

Terrorism, he stated, clearly has a very real and direct impact on human rights, with devastating consequences on the right to life, liberty and physical integrity of the victims.

Not just this, terrorism also undermines civil society, jeopardises peace and security, and threatens social and economic development of Kashmir, Mahaldar said, adding that all these have had a real impact on the human rights of each and every Kashmiri irrespective of their religion.

"The ultimate aim of criminal law is protection of the right to personal liberty against invasion by others - protection of the weak against the lawless perpetrators," he said.

The Hyderpora incident, he opined, appears to be a case of utter selfishness, greed and intolerance that led to the deprivation of life, liberty and property of other citizens requiring the state to step in for protection of the citizens' rights.

"If men were angels no government would be necessary", the leader said, adding that it is the primary function of the government to protect the basic rights to life and property.

The state has to give protection to persons against lawlessness, disorderly behaviour, violent acts and fraudulent deeds of others. Liberty cannot exist without protection of the basic rights of the citizens by the Government.

According to Mahaldar, "Respect for human rights and the rule of law must be the bedrock of the global fight against terrorism. This requires the development of national counter-terrorism strategies that seek to prevent acts of terrorism, prosecute those responsible for such criminal acts, and promote and protect human rights and the rule of law," he said.

Mahaldar demanded that the Director General (investigation) J&K Police constitute an investigating team of five members-- one senior Superintendent of Police, two deputy SPs and two inspectors-- to conduct a fact finding enquiry of the Hyderpora incident.

On Monday, four people were killed in an encounter between the security forces and the militants in Hyderpora area of Srinagar city.

Those killed were identified as a foreign terrorist, his associate belonging to Ramban district of J&K, Altaf Ahmad, the owner of the building where the encounter took place and Dr Mudasir who was running a call centre in a rented floor of the building.