Thousands gather for funeral of slain Hizb militants


ANANTNAG: Thousands of people gathered for the funeral of two slain Hizb militants in their respective villages of Pulwama district.Two militants including the most wanted commander of Hizb outfit, Sameer Tiger were killed while as three army soldiers including a major rank officer were killed during the encounter in Drubgam village of the district.
A civilian was also shot dead by the security forces during the clashes that erupted near the encounter site and nearly two dozen others suffered injuries with most of them having been hit by bullets.
Joint resistance leadership had called for a shutdown in the valley against the civilian killing. Authorities to thwart any violent protests had imposed restrictions in areas of Srinagar and Pulwama township.
Responding to the call of the JRL, the shops, business establishments, private offices, educational institutions and petrol pumps remained shut in capital city Srinagar and other major and small townships of the valley. The roads, according to reports reaching from different areas, wore a deserted look as the traffic was missing from the roads. Amid heavy deployment of forces and shutdown in Pulwama district, reports said, thousands of people turned up at the funeral of two slain militants. Local sources said that people mostly youth since early morning marched towards the ancestral villages of the slain duo on foot and on two wheelers to join their funeral.
Witnesses said that several rounds of funerals were offered for the slain to accommodate the rush of people who continued to pour in till 11 am. Pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, witnesses said, reverberated all around during the last rites of slain duo. Both of them, they said, were later to rest amid tears.
After the burial, witnesses said, youth in large numbers clashed with forces in Rajpora and Shadimarg areas of Pulwama.
They said that the angry youth attacked the police station Rajpora with stones.
The security forces responded with teargas shelling and aerial firing to drive away the protesting youth. The clashes continued for nearly two hours. However, nobody was injured during the clashes.