Two slain militants buried in north Kashmir, family seeks bodies

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Srinagar

Despite two families claiming that the militants killed in south Kashmir’s Shopian gunfight on Friday were their sons, the authorities quietly buried the two in north Kashmir, newspaper The Tribune quoted sources as saying.

The two militants were killed on Friday morning in a gunfight with security forces in a Shopian village. JK Police has been maintaining that the two slain militants are unidentified.

Superintendent of Police, Shopian, Amritpal Singh, said, “Their identities have not been established yet.”

When asked that two families had approached them, the SP said he did not know “what is their source for making such a claim”.

“They have not shown us the pictures,” the SP said, adding that he had no idea of the two having been buried.

According to a report published in the newspaper The Tribune, sources said both were buried in a Baramulla hamlet on Friday night. Authorities have also taken the DNA samples of the two. Bodies of non-local militants are usually buried in this remote Baramulla village as there is no chance of a big funeral, which has been a major challenge for the forces over the years.

One of the families from Shopian claimed that the slain was their son Asif Ahmed Dar.

“Asif called the family at around 5 am on Friday and told his brother that he is trapped inside. His brother later informed the family and a local police officer about the phone call. The family requested the police to hand over the body,” The Tribune quoted one of the relatives of Asif as saying.

“We had even sent a message to the local authorities that very few people will attend the funeral. But there is no word from them.”

Another family from Ganawpora Shopian also claimed that their son was killed in the Friday gunfight.

If the two turn out to be locals, it will be for the first time that the families of the militants have been denied the bodies of their kin.

Recently J&K Police had registered a first information report and later arrested over a dozen persons in north Kashmir’s Sopore area who allegedly attended the funeral of local Jaish-e-Mohammad militant commander in violation of lockdown protocol in wake of coronavirus outbreak.

Following the Friday gunfight, a large number of people had reached the gunfight site and remained assembled there. The huge gathering was there despite strict lockdown in wake of COVID-19.  There was also report of minor stone-pelting after the gunfight. The Shopian tally of positive patients is highest in the four districts of South Kashmir, reported The Tribune.

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