Gun salutes for slain Kashmir rebel, thousands attend funerals

Representative picture.

Thousands of people on Tuesday attended the funerals of three militants including top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in south Kashmir’s Shopian district amid gun-salute and shutdown.

Last evening, three militants were killed in an encounter with government forces in Kellar and the slain were later identified as Zahid Ahmad Mir from Ganowpora, Irfan Abdullah from Heff and Asif Ahmad Paul from Kathaw Hallan. Zahid was the commander of Hizb and was active since 2015.

Thousands of people assembled at the respective villages of the trio to offer funeral. Reports and witnesses said that huge number of mourners including women staged massive pro-freedom, pro-Islam and anti-India protests. Reports said multiple funerals were held for Zahid as number of people swelled with passing time. Militants also gave a gun-salaute to slain Irfan at Hallan in Shopian.

A police spokesman said that Zahid Ahmad Mir along with Irfan Abdullah Ganie were involved in weapon snatching at residential guard at Tukroo. “They were also involved in attack on Constable Mohammad Ashraf at his residence. Besides the duo were involved in many cases.”

“Zahid was also involved in many firing incidents including firing on residential house of MLA Shopian, residential house of Farooq Ahmad resident of Tukroo, police guard Pinjer and Police Station Shopian. Irfan Abdullah Ganie was involved in the attack on 55RR and 14 Bn CRPF at Heff.”

Addressing a press conference, the commanding officer of 44 RR DS Nagi said the militants killed in Shopian were motivated youth towards militancy and have been instrumental in recruiting local boys in various militant outfits. He further said that the trio was also involved in number of attacks on forces and also ambushes.

In the wake of the killing of three militants, a complete and spontaneous shutdown was observed in Pulwom  and Shopian districts. Reports of stone-pelting were received from Pulwom Town in the morning but later situation normalized amid a shutdown.