Locals claim forces killed him, police refute allegation; militants offer gun salute to him amid pro-freedom slogans
ZIA-UL-HAQ / BILAL HABIB
PULWAMA: A bullet-riddled body of a man was recovered from Gadoora village in Pulwama district on Friday. The body of Muhammad Yousuf Lone son of Sonaullah Lone was recovered from a Nallah near Newa village today morning. Lone’s killing triggered massive pro-freedom and anti-India protests in his native village.
A huge number of people participated in his funeral prayers, which were offered twice, one in the morning and other after Friday prayers. Witnesses said that two militants also appeared in his funeral procession and offered gun salute to him by firing several rounds in air.
Locals alleged that he was killed by the government forces who had launched a cordon and search operation in a nearby Hakripora village on Thursday night. However, police refuted the allegation.
“Some gun shots were heard at around 10 pm at a time when a nearby village was under cordon. In the morning his body was found in a Nallah. He was living a normal life. Nobody in the village can trust the police claim that he was killed by militants,” locals told Kashmir Reader.
One of the relatives of the slain said that Lone left his home at 5 pm on Thursday and went to his under-construction house in his native village.
“When he did not return till late evening we called him on his mobile number several times but there was no response to our repeated calls. We did not sleep all the night and in the morning we were informed that his bullet-riddled body is lying in a Nallah,” he said.
Lone, a farmer, according to his family was living a normal life and had no links with militants now. He is survived by his wife and three children including a 15- year-old daughter.
Sources said that the slain was arrested several times for having links with militants. He had also received bullet injuries in his right arm during a shootout in Sangam area several years ago.
A police official wishing anonymity said that slain was working as an over ground worker for militants but denied that forces killed him.
“His body was found two kilometers away from the village which was under cordon. Forces are no way involved in his killing. During our initial investigation it was found that militants killed him last night. We have registered a case and further investigations have been taken up, “ the official told Kashmir Reader.
In a statement issued here, a police spokesman said that initial investigation has revealed that militants fired upon Lone.
“A case FIR number 174/2017 under section 302 RPC and 7/27 Arms Act has been registered in police station Pulwama,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile clashes between forces and youth erupted in Anantnag town early morning. Shopkeepers closed their shops while traffic remained off the roads after the clashes broke out. Witnesses said that groups of youth early morning hit the streets and pelted the forces with stones in Anantnag’s Lal Chowk. The forces responded with teargas shells. Later, the clashes spread to adjacent areas.