Srinagar, April 25: Two rebels Abid Ahmad of Khargund and Ishfaq Ahmad of Handoora – were killed along with two others in a 12-hour-long gunfight with Indian troops in Lam forests of Tral yesterday.
A soldier and a policeman were also killed and two army men wounded in the gunfight. Indian army use choppers and para-troopers in the operation.
Eye witnesses said that thousands of people assembled in both the villages and participated in the last rites of the slain militants.
They said that militants appeared during the funeral of Ishfaq Ahmad in Handoora and offered a gun salute.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Aripal area after youth took to streets and hurled rocks at the forces deployed there.
Despite the ban on internet and amid restrictions, several thousand people poured onto streets as the bodies of slain militants, were lifted the scenes were poignant amid the chanting of pro-freedom slogans, hailing the “martyr.”
Reports said four rounds of funeral prayers each were held for both slain militants in Handura and Khargund villages.
Abid’s relatives, who were waiting for his body to arrive, were holding a pot full of candies in their hands. Women showered the bodies with candies.
Woman sang eulogies “tera bayee, mera bayee, Abid bayee Abid bayee, wala myani shahedo, bochh ma lajee (come my martyr, you might be hungry).
Scores of men and women wept bitterly as the body was being carried towards its final resting place.
Reports said that some armed militants appeared at the funeral of Ishfaq Ahmad Khan and offered a gun salute to Ishfaq and raised pro-freedom, pro-Islam and pro-Pakistan slogans.
The slain militants were identified as Omar Khalid, Ishfaq Ahmad Khan of Handoora, Yasir a foreigner who was the ‘area commander’ of Tral and Abid Maqbool of Khargund and all of them belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad militant group.
The local sources informed Kashmir Life that Ishfaq Ahmad Khan belonged to Handoora Tral, who was first arrested in March 2014 after he tried to snatch a service rifle of a SOG man on duty in Pampore. That time police issued a statement suggesting Khan was an OGW with Hizbul Mujahideen militant group. He was jailed for one year and later released. But after his release, he joined JeM.
Abid Maqbool, another local militant, is the son of a policeman and belongs to Khangund in Tral. He was a student of the second year when he joined JeM in the month of February 2018.
Meanwhile, Tral and its peripheries observed complete shutdown Wednesday to mourn the death of the three local militants.