December 2016 News

Funeral Of Dead Terrorists Keep Drawing Huge Crowds In Kashmir

12 December 2016
Nazir Masoodi

Srinagar: After nearly five months of unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, there is a new challenge for the security forces in Kashmir: Large crowds attending the funeral of dead terrorists. After the death of two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in an encounter on Friday, thousands marched on the streets and attended the funeral of Majid Zargar, Lashkar's face in South Kashmir. The ruling People's Democratic Party says while situation remains volatile, the presence of crowds at such funerals is not a major issue. 'The situation in Jammu and Kashmir remains jittery. Who would say no to that? There has been a problem that continues to lurk... funeral prayers of militants won't bother us than the continuation of political instability,' said Nizamudin Bhat, the party's general secretary. Sources say the government had hoped that people would have been disillusioned with the separatist movement because of the unrest in which around 100 people were killed and over 12,000 were injured since July. Majid Zargar was the Lashkar's face in South Kashmir. The violence in fact, was triggered by the clashes that took place the day after Burhan Wani's funeral on July 9. In the days that followed, thousands were arrested to calm the streets. But things are far from settled. During encounters, the crowds still try to break security cordon in an attempt to help the holed up terrorists escape. Last week, a civilian was killed in firing when a crowd tried break cordon. The police have now appealed to people not to assemble near encounter sites. 'We have all the sympathies with the civilians. In fact, we appeal to the people to cooperate and they are cooperating with us,' said SP Vaid, Special DGP law and order J&K.