Police claim to have wiped out group that carried out attack on Yatris
Anantnag: Thousands of people on Tuesday participated in several rounds of funeral prayers for slain Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Yawar Bashir in his native village of Hablish in Kulgam district.
Yawar was killed along with two Pakistani nationals, Furqan and Abu Maviya, shortly after carrying out an attack on an army convoy in Bonigam village of Qazigund, along the Srinagar-Jammu highway, on Monday. Government forces retrieved Yawar’s body late on Monday evening from the debris of the house that they blasted to rubble during the gunfight. His body was handed to his family on Tuesday morning.
Soon after word about Yawar’s death broke out, thousands of people from across Kulgam and Anantnag districts started pouring into Hablish village.
“The mourners kept swelling despite an internet ban in force in both Kulgam and Anantnag districts, which kept the news from travelling far,” local sources said. They said that more than five back-to-back funeral prayers were held for the slain militant after which he was buried at his ancestral graveyard. Yawar’s body was draped in the Pakistan flag and the gathered mourners raised pro-Pakistan, pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
“Women and children were in huge attendance at the funeral,” sources said.
A surveillance drone hovered over the area where people had assembled for the funeral prayers. “That did not deter people from thronging the place in thousands,” local sources said.
Intense clashes erupted after the funeral in Bhadragund area of Qazigund, where the militants were killed, and in Bonigam, where they had attacked the army convoy.
Hundreds of locals of these areas came out to clash with government troops deployed there. People pelted the troops with stones, and the troops fired tear smoke shells to disperse them. Sources said that dozens of vehicles plying on the highway suffered damages during the clashes. Vehicular traffic meandered through the interiors till the clashes ebbed. Train services on the Banihal-Baramulla route were suspended and mobile internet was still shut when this report was filed.
Meanwhile, police claimed to have arrested an “associate” of the militants on Tuesday from the site. A police spokesperson said that a fourth “individual” was arrested when police pursued the leads available at the Qazigund encounter site.
“Rashid Ahmad Allaie, son of Farooq Ahmad of Sangam area in Bijbehara, was held from the maternity hospital in Sherbagh Anantnag,” the spokesperson said. He said that Allaie had been missing from home since the last two days and had joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
“A Chinese pistol and live cartridges were recovered from his possession,” the spokesperson said.
Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid said that the arrested militant was in an injured condition.
“The body of the third terrorist, Yawar, a local, was recovered from the encounter site and a fourth terrorist was caught in an injured condition,” Vaid said.
He said that the group of militants who attacked Amarnath Yatris “is wiped out”.
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Range, Munir Khan said that Yawar and Maviya were “physically” involved in the Yatra attack.
“The Amarnath Yatra attack case is now 99.9 percent solved, whether it be the militants who physically carried out the attack or the OGW network which has already been arrested,” Khan said. He said that the case was, in fact, solved with the leads provided by arrested OGWs (over-ground workers).
“Only one militant involved in the attack, Shakoor, now survives and he will be hopefully neutralised soon,” he said.
Furqan was divisional commander of the LeT, while Maviya and Yawar were involved in the July 10 Amarnath Yatra attack, police said.