Thousands participate in Shopian teen’s funeral

Two houses damaged as militants escape, south Kashmir districts observe shutdown 

Srinagar, May 3: Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of the teenager youth killed allegedly in forces action in Turkwangam village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district yesterday evening.

The youth, Umar Kumar of Pinjoora (17), a class 9th student, was killed near site of encounter between joint team of Government forces and militants, believed to be five in number, who finally managed to escape.

A large number of people shouting slogans pro-freedom slogans later took Umar’s body in procession towards the graveyard.

A police officer said that a cordon-and-search-operation was launched in the village following a tip-off about the presence of militants on Wednesday afternoon.

A gunfight broke out when the militants opened fire on the forces, the officer said.  An army Major was wounded in the firefight and was shifted to army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar.

As soon as the news of gunfight spread, hundreds of youth took to streets and clashed with the government forces in a bid to help militants including top commander of the Hizb ul Mujahideen, Zeenat-ul-Islam, escape.

The forces fired live ammunition, pellets and teargas into the protesters near the gunfight site, resulting into death of a youth Umar Kumar of Pinjura and injuries to more than two dozen other youth, a few of them with bullets.

Locals alleged that the joint team of forces damaged two houses, including the one belonging to the father-in-law of Zeenat-ul-Islam, during the searches.

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed South Kashmir districts of Shopian, Pulwama and Anantnag to mourn the killings in forces’ action.

While Pulwama and Shopian districts remained closed for the fourth consecutive day, Anantnag observed shutdown to mourn the killing of the civilian in Turkwangam village yesterday. All shops and other business establishments are closed in the three districts while traffic is off the roads.

Two militants – Sameer Tiger and Aqib Khan – and a civilian Shahid Ahmad were killed during a gunfight on Monday in Drubgam village of Pulwama. (GNS)

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