100s Participate In Slain BJP leader’s Funeral

Srinagar—Hundreds of local residents in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir Friday attended the last rites of the slain BJP youth wing leader Gowhar Hussain Bhat, who was allegedly killed by militants.

The residents of Bonagam in Shopian, 52 km from here, participated at his funeral procession that passed through the roads of the village before his mortal remains were laid to rest, officials said.

The sizeable number of people at the funeral surprised observers here as there is not much support for the BJP in the predominantly Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley.

The body of Bhat, aged 30, who was kidnapped by militants, was recovered from an orchard in Kiloora in Shopian district of south Kashmir yesterday with his throat slit.

Bhat was the district president of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha and had been associated with the party for over two years.

Meanwhile, a police official on Friday said a group of militants was behind the killing. The officials said the militants involved are Hamas, a Pakistan resident, Umer Nazir from Malikgund in the district, and Ishfaq Thoker, a resident of Paderpora and Zubair Turay from Shupian. While Hamas and Umer are with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Ishfaq and Zubair are part of Hizbul Mujahideen.

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