Thousands attend funeral of Sopore militant killed in Budgam gunfight Cops resorted to tear gas shelling on mourners

Thousands of people in Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district Thursday attended the funeral prayers of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant Mehraj-ud-Din Khan alias Maroof, who was killed in a gunfight with troops in Chattergam area of Budgam on Wednesday.
Two militants including LeT top commander Naveed Jhatt and Mehraj of New Colony, Sopore were killed in the gunfight in Chattergam on Wednesday.

Thousands of people assembled at Iqbal market, Sopore in the morning and offered funeral prayers of slain militant Mehraj amid pro-freedom, pro Pakistan and anti-India sloganeering.
The forces deployed in the area fired tear gas shells towards the mourners during the funeral prayers of Mehraj.
“The funeral prayer was being held at Iqbal market, Sopore when the forces resorted to tear gas shelling without any provocation. Several tear gas shells landed amongst the mourners as the funeral prayers were about to conclude,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, a family member of Mehraj.

Several mourners were injured in the forces action.
A police official said the protesters resorted to stone pelting on the forces, who retaliated by firing tear smoke shells to disperse the mob.
Later, the slain militant was laid to rest at martyrs’ grayeyard at Shalpora Sopore.
Mehraj, according to police, was an over ground worker (OGW) of militants and had escaped from police station Sopore on October 5, 2018, four days after his arrest.
A photograph of him holding an AK-47 rifle had gone viral on social media soon after he escaped from the police station.
Meanwhile, Sopore town observed complete shutdown to protest the militant’s killing.
Mobile internet service was suspended in Sopore town while authorities ordered closure of all education institutions as a precautionary measure.
Three youth were injured when forces resorted to tear smoke shelling and pellet firing on protestors during clashes in Botingoo, Sopore.
One of the injured identified as Riyaz Ahmad Bhat was referred to Srinagar hospital for specialised treatment.