February 2016 News

In Kashmir, Hush Hush Burial Of Pakistani Terrorists Triggers Clashes

7 February 2016
Nazir Masoodi

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government's recent decision to quietly dispose of the bodies of Pakistani terrorists, instead of burying them in local graveyards, has triggered clashes in some parts of the Valley. The last one was in Hajin village in north Kashmir's Bandipura district, where intermittent clashes have been on for three days. The protesters are demanding bodies of the three Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, who were killed in a 12-hour gun-battle on Thursday, and have been buried at an unknown location somewhere near the Line of Control. Over the last 20 years, thousands of terrorists from Pakistan and other countries have been killed in Kashmir and buried across 500 local graveyards - till the police began the practice of burying the bodies quietly a few months ago. Sources say the move is meant to curb the renewed practice of locals attending the funeral, which often ends in violent clashes. Given the sensitivities involved, local political parties are hoping the decision won't provoke violent reactions. 'I just hope that whatever the policy is, it takes into account all the advantages and disadvantages on a very fragile relative peace we have in the Valley,' said Junaid Mattu, spokesman of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference. The police say they have to follow the law. 'We are trying to convince them that we have followed all the provisions of law. Since nobody is the claimant (of the bodies) as per rule, the police is supposed to dispose of the bodies,' said Garib Dass, Deputy Inspector General, North Kashmir.