One Encounter, Two Funerals

Tasavur Mushtaq


September 10, Saturday, a day before Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s scheduled visit to Islamabad, fierce gun battle raged in Barbugh area of Shopian.

File image of encounter site in Kashmir (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

The gunfight started when according to police officials there was a tip-off about the presence of militants in the area. Though earlier on the same day forces had launched CASO in the village, however it was later lifted.

Altaf Ahmad Rather, slain militant’s family having last glimpse (KL Image: Mukhtar Zahoor)

Joint group of forces led by 44 and 62 RR during search search operation established a contact with militants.

Tariq Ahmad Bhat. A family member with spoon of milk (KL Image: Mukhtar Zahoor)

The militants hiding in the area resorted to firing triggering a gunfight, police officials said.

People in large number gathered to bid farewell to Altaf (KL Image: Mukhtar Zahoor)

In the ensuing gunfight, a militant was killed and a teenage girl was injured. The operation continued and was later halted.

Funeral procession of Tariq Ahmad Bhat (KL Image: Mukhtar Zahoor)

Early Sunday morning, forces first apprehended a militant, who was later identified as Adil Ahmad.

Funeral procession of Altaf Ahmad (KL image: Mukhtar Zahoor)

The firing started again as Adil had told police that “we were three in number.” The residential house was razed to ground and gunfight ended with the killing of third militant.

Family and relatives having last glimpse of Tariq (KL image: Mukhtar Zahoor)

The two slain militants were identified as Altaf Ahmad Rather son of Mohammad Maqbool resident of Awneera Zainapora, Shopian and Tariq Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Ibrahim resident of Barbugh, Shopian. Both belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen.

A group of women and children watching over the funeral (KL image: Mukhtar Zahoor)

As the bodies were handed over to the respective families, there was mayhem. Paying last rites, people assembled in large number at both the places.

A militant hugs body of Tariq (KL Image: Mukhtar Zahoor)

Carried over shoulders and having last glimpses, the militants were buried amid slogans.

Militants participated in the funeral of Tariq (KL Image: Mukhtar Zahoor)

During the last moments, the militants came, hugged and fired to pay tributes to their slain members.

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