Srinagar, April 17: Two militants who were killed in a gunfight with police and army in Shopian district were buried in Sheeri Baramulla, notwithstanding claims by two families from the southern Kashmir district that the slain were their kin.
The gunfight at Dairoo Keegam area of southern Shopian district took place nearly a week after Jash-e-Mohammad militant Sajad Nawab Dar was killed and hundreds of people participated in his funeral at Sopore. Later police registered FIR against people who gathered at the funeral in defiance of a lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.
While police said that no family approached them, the two families denied it, saying “not only police, we approached the deputy commissioner Shopian as well.”
The families claim the slain include Ashiq Ahmad Magray of Ganavpora and Asif Ahmad Dar of Bungam Shopian. They said both were affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
“As soon we came to know about their killing, we approached police and Deputy Commissioner Shopian. They told us to wait and despite our imploring that not more than six persons amid pandemic will participate in their funerals, they took bodies to Baramulla,” Ghulam Nabi Magray, uncle of Ashiq Ahmad Magray told GNS. Magrey said he identified his nephew through photographs which went viral on social media soon after the encounter was over.
Rafi Ahmad Dar, brother of Asif Ahmad Dar said he called him early morning said that he was under trap in a cordon. “I shared the message with a concerned police officer,” he said, adding, “The pictures (of the bodies) are clear and we have no doubt they are our kin.”
A police officer told GNS that the slain were unidentified and nobody approached them before the bodies were taken to Sheeri Baramulla, one of the places in Kashmir Valley where foreign militants or those who remain unidentified are normally buried.
Asked if the bodies would be handed over to the families as they claim them to be their kin, the police officer said: “We had already taken their sample (slain militants). If any family claims that they were their kin they have to follow the procedure.” He said once the DNA samples are received, they would be matched with the concerned families.