Another day of funerals, mourning in southern Kashmir

IPS officer bids tearful adieu to militant brother; Soldiers ‘remove banners’ of slain militant in Nazneenpora; Forces resort to aerial firing in Chilipora

Irfan Amin Malik
Shopian, Publish Date: Jan 24 2019 12:33AM | Updated Date: Jan 24 2019 12:33AM
Another day of funerals, mourning in southern Kashmir
Photo: Mir Waseem/GK
This was an encounter that describes Kashmir tragedy in its layered complexity. Indian Police Service officer Inam-ul-Haq broke down and wept copiously on seeing the body of brother Shams-ul-Haq, a militant who was killed in a gunfight on Tuesday.
Inam, who is currently posted in the northeast, reached home to attend the last rites of his brother. He kissed the slain brother’s face and hugged other family members.

Shams had been pursuing Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) at the Government Unani College in Zakura, Srinagar, when he joined militancy in May 2018. Inam is 2012-batch IPS officer.
Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani, who has been under house detention for the better part of the past decade, addressed the mourners at Shamsul Haq’s funeral in Shopian by telephone.
Shams is the cousin of another slain Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activist-turned-militant Zubair Ahmed Turray, who was killed in a gunfight in April last year.
It was the day of mourning in southern Kashmir with thousands of mourners wailing and crying after performing the last rites of six militants killed during the past three days.
After about 30 rounds of funeral prayers in the native places of the deceased, in Pulwama and Shopian districts, the six militants were laid to rest.
Multiple funeral prayers were held on the demand of fresh wave of mourners arriving from neighbouring and far-off areas.
Militants fired several rounds in the air as a mark of respect to their fallen colleague, Syed Ruban, at Nazneenpora, Shopian.
Braving cold thousands of people since early morning thronged in Nazneenpora, Chidipora, Draggad and Shirmal villages of Shopian district to participate in the last rites of slain militants killed in Shirmal gunfight on Tuesday.
Similar scenes were witnessed at Lassipora and Nowpora villages of Pulwama district to offer funeral prayers to militants killed in a gunfight on Monday at Hapatnar village of Budgam district.
To mourn the militant killings, both districts observed shutdown even as authorities blocked mobile internet service “as a precautionary measure”.

ARMY RESORTS TO AERIAL FIRING
Army on Wednesday resorted to aerial firing after youth pelted their camp with stones at Chilipora village in Shopian district. The youth were returning to the village after attending the funerals of the three militants killed in Shirmal village on Tuesday.

SOLDIERS ‘DESECRATE’ MILITANT’S BANNERS: FAMILY
Meanwhile, hours after Syed Ruban, one of the three militants killed in a gunfight in Budgam on Sunday, was laid to rest, soldiers entered his home at Nazneenpora, Shopian, and harassed his family members, his brother Syed Imran said.
Imran said, “Hours after the burial of my beloved brother, army soldiers by evening went inside our house and scolded my parents, guests and neighbours. The banners of my slain brother were desecrated and then all the banners were taken down one by one”.
“My mother even emotionally pleaded to them that she has just lost her son. If he is dead now what else do they want,” Imran said.
When contacted, a senior army officer posted in Shopian told Greater Kashmir that “no army soldier has entered into the residence of slain militant Syed Rubani”.
“Neither we harassed his family nor we snatched any of his banners,” he said.
After five back-to-back funeral prayers, Ruban was laid to rest by Wednesday afternoon at his ancestral graveyard. A masked militant also gave a gun salute to his fallen comrade.