Slain militants laid to rest in Kupwara

Thousands of people on Sunday participated in funeral prayers of five militants who allegedly died in a gun-battle at Chak Drugmulla village on Saturday.
Slain militants laid to rest in Kupwara
Photo: Firdous Hassan/GK

Thousands of people on Sunday participated in funeral prayers of five militants who allegedly died in a gun-battle at Chak Drugmulla village on Saturday.

The slain gunmen were laid to rest at Chak Drugmulla at around 10 am, amid massive pro-freedom sloganeering.

After getting the bodies from forces, local residents delayed the funeral of slain militants on Saturday evening and kept the bodies at a seminary for the night.

Contesting the forces' claim that the five militants were killed in a gunfight yesterday, the residents Sunday alleged that the encounter was staged.

"After seeing their faces, it seemed they had been killed five to six days before and brought here to show they have were killed in an encounter," they alleged.

Massive protests erupted in the area on Sunday after the slain militants were laid to rest. 

Men and women, young and old, from adjoining villages of Hatmulla, Drugmulla, Bramri, Nagri, Mougalpora and other places were seen moving in groups to Chak village from early morning to attend the funeral procession of the slain militants. 

Police and army had Saturday claimed that five unidentified militants were killed in a gunfight that lasted for several hours in Chak. They had said that three soldiers were also wounded in firing by militants who had taken cover inside an abandoned residential house.

The forces claimed that the militants belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit and "were killed in a joint and well-coordinated operation and it seems that they had infiltrated recently from the Line of Control."

Cell-phone services and internet remained down in Kupwara district since last night as authorities snapped the communication services "to stop anyone from fuelling protests and clashes through social media", following the killing of five militants.  Meanwhile, Army on Sunday said a soldier wounded in a gunfight with militants at Chak Drugmulla yesterday, succumbed at Army's Base Hospital in Srinagar.

Army spokesman said Lt Gen DS Hooda has expressed deep condolences with the family of the slain soldier. "Mortal remains of the soldier will be flown to his village in Sindudurg district of Maharashtra after necessary formalities," he said.

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