10 funerals for Sameer Tiger, Aqib Khan

Thousands flock to their villages for last glimpse

ABID BASHIR
Pulwama, Publish Date: May 2 2018 1:03AM | Updated Date: May 2 2018 1:03AM
10 funerals for Sameer Tiger, Aqib KhanPhoto: Mir Wasim/GK

For the whole night, people of all ages, including children and women continued to throng the native villages of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sameer Ahmed Bhat alias Sameer Tiger and his associate Aqib Khan at Pulwama district of southern Kashmir. 

Majority of the people travelled from nearby villages of Pulwama, Shopian and also from Kulgam districts. 

With the first light of the day on Tuesday, thousands of people, who had walked miles during the darkness of night, reached Drabgam, the native village of Sameer Tiger to participate in his funeral and to have his last glimpse. “I reached just before the Fajr (morning prayers). I offered prayers at a local masjid at Drabgam and joined gathering for funeral of Sameer. I was lucky enough to see his face,” said Sajid, a resident of Heff village of Shopian. 

Sajid, along with his and friend and neighbour, Faizan, decided to drive a bike to reach village Drabgam.  A witness who was present at Sameer’s funeral procession said that the people were chanting pro-freedom and pro-Islamic slogans. “Sameer’s body was wrapped in Pakistani flag,” he said. “At least six rounds of back to back funeral prayers were held for him. He was later laid to rest amid chanting of pro-Hizb, and pro freedom slogans.”

Another witness said that many youth were seen showering flower petals on the grave of Sameer. A close relation was also seen kissing his grave multiple times. Sameer joined militant ranks in May 2016 and was active in southern parts. He was wanted for police in many cases.

Emotional scenes were also witnessed at village Bellow, Rajpora in Pulwama where at least four rounds of funeral were held for Sameer’s associate, Aqib Khan. “Women were beating chests while as large number of youth were shouting pro-Islamic slogans,” he said.

 Sameer and Aqib were killed in a three-hour long encounter with the government forces at Drabgam village of Pulwama. An army major and another officer had sustained minor injury in the gunfight on Monday. Their bodies were handed over to their families later in the day. A source said that militants appeared in the funeral of slain Sameer and offered a gun-salute late on Monday evening.

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