Srinagar: Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of slain militant commander Mugees Ahmad Mir on Saturday in Srinagar’s Parimpora area. From early morning, people thronged the slain militant’s residence despite police and paramilitary forces having sealed all entry and exit points to Parimpora.
Photojournalists complained that police and paramilitary did not allow them to enter the area in the morning. They said that they were later allowed to cover the funeral.
Emotions ran high when Mugees’s body was taken out aboard a tipper vehicle at around 10am from his house, amid fierce sloganeering: ‘Tera Bhai Mera Bhai, Mugees Bhai Mugees Bhai’; ‘Mugees Bhai Ka Kya Paigaam – Kashmir banega Dar-ul-lslam’; ‘Yahan kya chalega? Nizam-e-Mustafa’.
Mugees’s only brother, his father, and his four-month-old son sat close to his body when it was being carried in a caravan of vehicles towards the martyrs’ graveyard located adjacent to the State Forest Corporation office.
Scores of youth formed a human chain to clear the way for the caravan. Those who formed the chain also removed dozens of tree guards placed on the middle of the Srinagar-Baramulla highway.
Angry protesters had placed the tree guards to enforce a shutdown on Friday evening, soon after the news of Mugees’s death.
Several people at various spots climbed the tipper vehicle to touch the slain militant’s face and feet. They were immediately asked to de-board the vehicle to make way for others.
It took the caravan almost an hour to reach the martyrs’ graveyard.
The gathering was addressed by various people who highlighted the importance of “sacrificing life” for the sake of Islam.
“Mugees had not left for a separate land; he sacrificed life for the sake of Ummah and Islam,” one of the speakers said.
As people were listening to the speeches they suddenly stood up and began to cheer for someone clad in a light-brown check Pheran and Kifaya.
People claimed that he was a friend and associate of Mugees named Dawood.
“He was his close buddy and both of them had left together. He had arrived yesterday and when he saw Mugees’s body he threw himself over him and wept,” one of the local residents said.
Dawood was taken away from the spot by scores of youth but teenagers ran after him and brought him back carrying him on their shoulders. They kissed and hugged him for several minutes before “he disappeared”.
Another local resident claimed that two more militants came to the funeral. “Zeenat-ul-Islam and Majid offered Mugees Bhai’s funeral. Zeenat was escorted from the back side of the graveyard and Majid ran from the other side,” he said.
Mugees’s funeral prayers were offered twice and were led by two separate persons who donned a cloth on their faces. Women who watched the funeral prayers from a distance beat their chests when he was buried.
On Friday night, Mugees’s mother had addressed the gathering that she won’t allow anyone to bury her son as she had given word to the people of Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam. She said that residents of these three areas had taken care of Mugees. “I thank them for taking care of him during those days. I won’t let him be buried unless you reach here,” she had said.
Violent clashes rocked the area after Mugees was laid to rest. Angry youths threw stones and bricks on police and paramilitary forces who responded by firing dozens of tear-smoke shells and stun-grenades.
“Our houses literally shook from the stun-grenades,” a local resident said, adding, “The clashes stopped when it began to rain.”
Following the killing of the militant, the government had imposed restrictions in several areas of Srinagar and closed all educational institutions.
Hurriyat Conference (G) chief Syed Ali Geelani remained under house arrest and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai were detained at their respective homes.
Mohammad Yasin Malik of JKLF and Ghulam Ahmad Gulzar of Hurriyat Conference (G) were detained by police in different police stations.
A police officer told Kashmir Reader, “The situation remained under control.”