While Kashmir is bracing for an intense winter ahead, three young rebels lost their lives down South. In North, after ten days of hectic search, army, which lost their colonel to militants’ bullet, killed a militant on Monday. Struggling foggy morning, Kashmir Life photo chief, Bilal Bahadur, drove from Srinagar to capture emotional farewell to militant trio of Bijbehara
When army claimed to have succeeded in killing a militant in Handwara forests on Monday, police said that three militants were killed in its joint operation with army in South Kashmir’s Ashmuqam area that evening.
Soon, when the news of the killing of militants reached their native village, thousands turned up to receive them.
People from alleys and streets of Bijbehara made their way to martyrs graveyard Bijbehara where the trio were laid to rest. Amid Azaadi sloganeering, youth resorted to intense stone pelting while forces responded with tear gas shelling.
The trio were recruits of Hizbul Mujahideen group, police said. They were identified as Sartaj Ahmad Lone son of Ghulam Mohammad Lone resident of Wopzan, Bijbehara, Adil Ahmad Sheikh son of Fayaz Ahmad resident of Sheikh Mohalla, Bijbehara and Tanveer Ahmad Bhat son of Mubarak Ahmad Bhat resident of Baba Mohalla Bijbehara.
People waited for the night and gave militants an emotional farewell early Tuesday. Thousands joined funeral prayers amid strong pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
An emotional farewell: women wailing over the death of the militant trio.
Hurriyat patriarch, Syed Ali Geelani termed the killing of three militants is a huge loss for Kashmiri nation. He called for a complete shutdown today in valley. “Youth give their great sacrifices for the pious cause of Kashmir’s freedom from Indian occupation,” he said.
“Youth who are martyred in encounters with Indian Army is our collective loss, and to honour their sacrifices we should remain steadfast in our struggle for Right to Self Determination,” Geelani said.
Intense clashes followed the thousand-legged burial of militant trio in Bijbehara. Geelani addressed the mourners telephonically saying “they are our honour”.
Forces resorted to aerial firing while train services in valley had to be stopped due to the post militant burial situation in South Kashmir. While thousands attended funeral of Bijbehara militants, normal life in valley was disrupted due to the strike call by Hurriyat (g). However, traffic plied normally on Srinagar roads with minor stone pelting in Habba Kadal area.