Defying curbs, thousands join Hizb militant’s funeral

Defying curbs, thousands join Hizb militant’s funeralThousands of people on Sunday joined the funeral prayers of a militant who died in a gunfight with forces in Gundpora village of this south Kashmir district yesterday. Scores of people, including some cops, were injured in massive protests and clashes over the militant’s killing.

Syed Mufeed Bashir, son of Basheer Ahmad, a resident of ZadooraPulwama, died in the brief gun-battle at Gundpora on Saturday evening, leading to massive protests which continued throughout the night and in the morning as well, reports and witnesses said. The slain militant of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen could not be laid to rest last evening after his mother desired that he should be laid to rest in the morning only since most of their relatives had not come to have his last glimpse, locals said.

On Sunday morning, thousands of people from different adjoining villages assembled in Zadoora—the native village of the slain militant—and held massive anti-India and pro-freedom protests. The slain militant was later taken to a graveyard in a massive procession and laid to rest there.

Strike, Clashes 

Amid complete shutdown in several Pulwama areas—including the main town—massive clashes erupted in Newa area in which scores of persons including two policemen were injured, reports said.

Reports said heavy contingents of forces were deployed in Newa to thwart any attempts of protests over the militant’s killing. Restrictions were also imposed on movement of youth towards Zadoora. However, people defied restrictions and moved in large numbers to participate in the funeral of the slain militant.

In the meantime, scores of youth took to streets from all areas around Newa and pelted stones on the forces. “Soon after the funeral of the slain militant, hundreds of youth took to streets and held protests. They pelted stones on the forces deployed in Newa town” witnesses said. “The forces lobbed tear smoke shells to disperse them, triggering clashes.”

The pitched-battles continued throughout the day, they said.

Local residents said the forces hurled tear-gas shells towards their houses.

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in many areas including Pulwama town, Newa, Zadoora, Wahibug, Gusoo, and many other areas, over the militant’s killing.

Scores of youth took to streets and pelted stones on police vehicles near RajporaChowk and MuranChowk in Pulwama town.

Salvation Movement Chairman Zaffar Akbar Bhat was detained near Newa by police when he was going to attend the funeral procession of the militant at Zadoora. He was shifted to Chanapora police station.

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