Thousands attend funeral prayers of 2 HM militants

Published at November 15, 2017 01:36 AM 0Comment(s)11157views

Aashiq is 5th member of Palhalan family to die in Kashmir conflict

Thousands attend funeral prayers of 2 HM militants

Irfan Yattoo


A pall of gloom overwhelmed the family of Aashiq Ahmed Bhat, 24, of Palhallan, as they received his body. Aashiq was killed in the encounter with government forces at Handwara in north Kashmir on Monday. He was the fifth member to have fallen to bullets of government forces in past two decades.
When Aashiq’s body was brought home and laid to rest at a local graveyard nearly five thousands participated in his funeral prayer. He was a 10-th standard student when he picked up a gun and joined Hizbul Mujahideen outfit in April 2014. On Monday evening he and his associate, Toib Majeed, of Brat Kalan Sopore were killed in an encounter with forces in Sultanpora area of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
“The reason for his joining militancy was that he was frequently summoned by both police and army,” said Aashiq’s maternal uncle, Mohammad Ismail. “ Whenever there were any anti-India protests in the village police and army would summon and interrogate him. It had become a routine. He was never involved in a wrong activity and due to strong anti-India family background of our family he would get summoned,” said Ismail.
Earlier his cousin Aadil Ramzan was allegedly killed outside his house in 2010 by security forces while returning from school tuition. In 2008 agitation another cousin of slain militant was killed in alleged forcers firing. Ghulam Mohiuddin Sheikh, slain militant’s grandfather, was killed by “unidentified gunmen” during 90s while Shiekh’s brother, Muhammad Sultan, a surrendered militant was killed by unknown gunmen in Haigam, Sopore, in 1993. His accomplice Toib Majeed Mir, 25, son of Abdul Majeed Mir of Brath Kalan Sopore was also laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard amid intense anti-India sloganeering and pro-freedom slogans.
Toib had joined militant ranks in May 2016 and was the fourth militant from the village to have been killed this year. Following the encounter last night internet facilities in north Kashmir areas were snapped to prevent law and order disturbance.
Meanwhile complete shutdown was observed in North Kashmir areas including Sopore, Zainageer, Palhallan, Hyderbeigh, and Pattan areas. A large contingent of police and paramilitary CRPF troops were deployed at Palahan to stop protestors from hitting the Srinagar-Baramulla national highway.
However clashes erupted after youth pelted stones on forces who in retaliation fired tear smoke shells to disperse them.


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