Kashmir Soldier Laid To Rest In Budgam

20 May 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Srinagar: Hundreds of people on Tuesday attended the funeral of the slain Kashmiri Army soldier who was killed in an encounter in central Kashmir's Budgam district on Monday. Three other soldiers were also injured in a gunfight at Kausar-mulla village of Budgam district, nearly 25 km from here, on Monday afternoon. A group of four top militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), including commander of the outfit in Kashmir Mohammad Qasim, managed to give the Army the slip after the encounter. The body of slain solider Mushtaq Mir, a resident of Qaiser Mohalla Chadroo, was laid to rest at his native village. Mir was a sepoy with 162 battalion of the Territorial Army and was currently attached to the 53 Rashtriya Rifles, the unit which carried out the operation on Monday along with the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the J&K Police. Hundreds of local residents and relatives of the slain soldier assembled in his native village and attended the funeral. This was a clear departure from the norm as mourning the death of an Indian Army soldier is a rare occurrence in the Valley. Mir had joined the Army almost eight years ago and was on leave when he got a call on Monday from his unit to resume duty immediately. Mir is survived by his wife and two children. Meanwhile, the security forces said the militants managed to escape from the hilly village when a cordon was being laid in the area. 'Militants opened indiscriminate firing when the cordon was being laid in the area,' said a senior security official. The search operation was called off on Monday, but a tight vigil is being maintained in the area, he added.