Thousands Attend Slain Militantís Funeral

Thousands Attend Slain Militantís Funeral

19 April 2013
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: A militant killed in an encounter in Sopore the previous day was laid to rest today in the presence of thousands of people in his native Palhalan town where life remained paralysed due to a protest shutdown and strict curbs by a heavy forces deployment. Shabeer Ahmad Sheikh, alias Tameem, nee Sufian, also known as Shaka, was killed in an operation the forces launched after the questioning of Lashkar divisional commander Qari Naveed, alias Fahadullah, who had been arrested from the Rafiabad area of Baramulla two days earlier. The police said that he had gone underground after the killing of a sarpanch in the Palhalan area in 2012, and had even served time in Udhampur jail a few years ago on possession of arms. His family had been informed of his death yesterday itself and called to Sopore to take custody of the body, the police said. A large number of people surged into the streets when the militantís body arrived at his native village at around 11 this morning, taking the coffin in a procession to the Palahalan Eidgah where thousands joined his funeral prayers. Revolutionary songs and azadi slogans were played over mosque loudspeakers at his village on the arrival of his body from Sopore, and an estimated 15,000 mourners were present at his funeral at the martyrsí graveyard in Palhalan. The chairman of the Hurriyat (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, addressed the gathering over telephone while under house arrest in Srinagar. Authorities allowed public movement only though interior areas of town where large numbers of people visited the family of the slain militant to pay condolence. Authorities had made strict security arrangements to maintain law and order and uninterrupted traffic on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Highway. Vehicular movement on road links from Palhalan to the highway had been restricted, and contingents of police and paramilitary forces had been deployed on the stretch along the town. Forces personnel had been stationed even in orchards and fields around the town. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior police officer said that around 1500 police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in and around Palhalan today.