15 Back to Back Funerals for Slain Militant in Anantnag

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Shakoor’s One Brother Released, Another Still Behind Bars

SRINAGAR — Thousands of people on Monday participated in the last rites of Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Shakoor Ahmad Dar at his native village, Sopat-Tangpora, in Devsar area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. A CNS report said such was the rush of people that 15 rounds of funeral peayers were held for the slain militant before he was laid to rest.

According to eyewitnesses a group of militants also surfaced during the funeral and offered a gun-salute to the slain.

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Shakoor was killed along with an associate during a gunfight with the government forces in Qaimoh area of adjoining Kulgam district. His third associate surrendered. A civilian was also killed during the clashes that erupted near the site of the gunfight.  Civilian protesters were trying to break military cordon to allow trapped militant escape.

Shakoor was a cleric and a ‘Hafiz’ (one who has memorized holy Quarn). He used to lead prayers at Jamia Masjid and Eidgah Masjid Soput. Shakoor according to his family went missing on September 30, 2016. A couple of days later, his photograph along with an assault rifle appeared on social media and police came to know he has joined militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

His two brothers Khurshid Ahmed and Sartaj Ahmed were in police custody when Shakoor was killed in the gunfight.

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Khurshid, a cancer patient was arrested six months before at Kund Kulgam after police claimed that a pistol was recovered from his possession. He is currently lodged at Joint Interrogation Centre Kehribal, Mattan, local news agency CNS reported. Family members said that Khurshid was not allowed to participate in the funeral prayers of his brother.

Sartaj has been released for four days and has to present himself before the police when required, family said, according to CNS.  

Meanwhile, a foreigner Abu Haider alias Sofiya, who also died in the Devsar encounter along with Shakoor, was buried secretly during intervening night of June 24/25 in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. A police officer said that the foreign militant was buried in Gantmullah graveyard of the district where foreign militants are generally laid to rest.

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