Thousands attend funeral of militants in Srinagar, Budgam; dozens injured in Old City clashes amid curfew

Srinagar: Thousands of people today attended the funeral prayers of three militants killed in Magam encounter and dozens of mourners were injured as massive clashes raged in Old City.

Three militants identified as Aaqib Gul son of Ghulam-ud-din Dar resident of Gooripora Sanatnagar, Budgam, Javaid Ahmad Sheikh son of Wali Mohammad Sheikh resident of Churpora Beerwah and Sajad Ahmad Gilkar son of Nazir Ahmad resident of Malaratta Nowhatta, Srinagar were killed in the Magam encounter.

Soon after the news about the killing of Sajad, a resident of Mallaratta Nowhatta in downtown spread, hundreds of youth took to streets in Old City areas and clashed with police and CRPF. The forces also started to enforce curfew and by 11 am, the entire old city was sealed off.

Local sources said that braving curfew restrictions, hundreds of youth started to rush Mallarata to attend the funeral of Sajjad through lanes and by-lanes. Reports said that massive clashes erupted at Bohri Kadal between youths and forces and continued till the body of the slain Sajad was handed over to the family by police at 3pm. The clashes left dozens of youth injured due to pellets and teargas shells.

One youth identified as Owais of Rainawari was hit by bullet in his chest on right and he was rushed to hospital for treatment. Reports said that soon after the body of Sajad arrived, many thousand people who had assembled at Mallarata, Pandan and Nowhatta staged massive protests and shouted slogans in favour of Islam and Azadi. They were also shouting slogans in favour of Zakir Musa and waved blag Islamic flags.

Reports said that as mourners tried to march towards Jama Masjid for funeral, police swung into action and fired teargas and pellets on funeral procession of the slain militant. According to witnesses, the mourners made several attempts to march towards Jama Masjdi but each time police used teargas and did not allow them. The funeral was later offered at nearby playground in which thousands participated. The slain was buried in his ancestral graveyard at Rainawari.

Reports said that soon after burial, heavy stone-pelting clashes erupted across downtown parts between forces and angry youth and continued till evening. Meanwhile, spontaneous shutdown was observed in central and uptown Srinagar parts against the killing of militants. The traffic was also partially affected due to the strike.

In Hydderpora, thousands of people attended funeral of Aqib and shouted pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans. He was also laid to rest in ancestral graveyard amid sobs and tears. Reports from Budgam said that multiple funerals were held for Javaid Sheikh as thousands turned up for the funeral. Amid tense situation, the mobile internet services were blocked in parts of central Kashmir and north Kashmir.(GNS)

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