January 2019 News

Mass Attendance At Militant Funerals A 'matter Of Concern'

23 January 2019
Brighter Kashmir

Srinagar: Despite claims that the attendance at militant funerals, a fertile ground for new recruitment, was coming down, tens of thousands turned up to pay homage to six militants who were killed in two encounters in Budgam and Shopian. According to reports, tens of thousands turned up to offer the funeral prayers of six militants as they were laid to rest at their ancestral graveyards in south Kashmir. Sources said 30 rounds of funeral prayers were held for the militants which attracted tens of thousands of people who came from adjoining villages and urban areas, even as a complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama and Shopian. 'There was a huge rush of mourners at the native villages of the slain militants. Throughout the day, mourners made way from one militant's home to another,' witnesses said. This is in sharp contrast with the claims of security agencies that the attendance at the militant funerals was coming down since the anti-militancy operations were intensified in last November. Officials believe such funerals are fertile grounds for recruiting more youth into militancy. Security forces have intensified the crackdown on militants and their overground workers since past few months with dozens of youth and Hurriyat activists held on different charges of violence and arson. Many of them have been slapped with the draconian Public Safety Act. Officials said this has helped in curtailing protests. 'However, despite these measures, thousands turning up for militant funerals in this cold is a matter of grave concern,' a senior police officer admitted. Meanwhile, officials said thousands of people thronged Nazneenpora, Chidipora, Draggad and Shirmal villages of Shopian district, braving cold, to participate in the last rites of militants who were killed in Shirmal gunfight on Tuesday. As the funeral prayers were going on, the associates turned up at the funeral of Syed Ruban, of Nazneenpora, and offered gun-salute. The slain militants included an IPS officer's brother Shamsul Haq, Amir Suhail and Shoaib. Veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani addressed the mourners telephonically during the funeral of Haq, who was also cousin of another slain Hurriyat activist turned militant Zubair Ahmed Turray. Emotional scenes were also witnessed at Lassipora and Nowpora, native villages of Sabzar Ahmad and Touseef Ahmad Itoo who were killed in a gunfight with the forces near Zinpanchal on the outskirts of Charar-e-Sharif on Monday.