The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday allowed the families of two slain militants in Shopian to visit their bodies from a graveyard in Baramulla on Monday, after women protesters cut off electricity in the area.
The two militants were killed in an operation by the security forces at Dairoo-Keegam in Shopian on Friday. Two families wanted to identify the bodies of the militants who they said were locals. But the police denied them permission, the families said. Their bodies were buried 110 km away from Shopian, in a hillock graveyard in Baramulla where most of non-local militants are buried.
However, the police’s attempt to deny the families the last rites upset the locals. Scores of women cut off electricity supply near Ganavpora. Many youths took to the streets despite an order under Section 144 was in force to disallow gathering of more than four persons.
“Ashiq Ahmad Magray [a slain militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen] is my nephew. I do not want to go into why the police disallowed us to identify them. However, we requested the Deputy Commissioner to allow the last rites to be performed only by six persons. I was ready to give in writing that no neighbour will participate in the funeral but still we were denied the body,” his uncle Ghulam Nabi Magray told The Hindu .
He said the family was grateful to the Deputy Commissioner for considering their application for the return of the bodies on Saturday. “Only five members of the family have been issued a movement pass to collect the bodies on Monday. We are asked to leave around 4 a.m. We have assured [the authorities] that the funeral at the native places will be attended only by family members. Even if they want us to bury the body at 1 a.m., we will. We just want to offer final rites and have his grave nearby,” Mr. Magray said.
Another Hizbul Mujahideen militant, whose body is also buried in Baramulla, has been identified as Asif Ahmad Dar of Bungam, Shopian. His family has also been granted permission to visit the body for the final rites.
No permission was given to exhume the bodies.
Yasin Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner, Shopian, was not available for comment.
The police’s decision to bury the bodies in Baramulla came nearly a week after Jaish-e-Mohammed militant Sajad Nawab Dar’s funeral attracted hundreds of people in Sopore. The police have lodged an FIR against the participants for violating Section 144 invoked in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.