Indian Kashmir Man's Body Exhumed After Protests18 April 2010
Srinagar: The body of a Muslim man killed by Indian troops in Kashmir has been exhumed after his family said he was an innocent civilian and not a militant, officials said Sunday. The Indian army on Wednesday said they had killed an 'unidentified terrorist' in northern Handwara district during a forest gunbattle. But after protests by Handwara residents and claims that 65-year-old Habibullah Khan was a civilian, the army issued a fresh statement saying militants had been using Khan either as a guide or a human shield. 'I ordered the exhumation after Khan's family approached me,' said Showkat Mir, the local deputy commissioner. 'I have taken up the issue with the army. They have assured me that they would order an inquiry.' The exhumation of the body, which had been buried near the scene of the alleged gunbattle, took place late Saturday with the family re-burying Khan in their own graveyard. Raj Muhammad Khan told local reporters that Indian soldiers had abducted and then killed his father. Human rights groups accuse both Muslim militants and the Indian army of human rights abuses. The army says it probes all complaints and punishes those found guilty. More than 40,000 people have died in the separatist insurgency, according to official figures.