Sopore youth’s funeral marked by protest and slogans

Sopore youth’s funeral marked by protest and slogans
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Family denies his links with ruling BJP

Sopore: Protests were held in Unisoo village on the outskirts of Sopore early Thursday morning against the killing of a local youth by unknown gunmen. During the funeral procession, locals also raised pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans.
Arif Ahmad Sofi, 25, resident of Wahipora area of Unisoo village, was shot dead Wednesday late evening in Harwan Bomai area of Sopore.
The BJP’s Kashmir unit claimed in a statement that Arif was an active worker of their party.
The state party leadership Sat Sharma, state general secretary (Org) Ashok Kaul, state general secretary and in-charge Kashmir affairs Dr Narendra Singh and BJP Kashmir unit said that they are deeply saddened over the brutal murder of party worker by militants.
However, his family denied the association. Imtiyaz Maqbool Sofi, younger brother of slain youth, told Kashmir Reader on phone that neither Arif, nor the family had any links with the BJP, which he described as ‘anti-Kashmir and anti-movement’.
“We condemn such baseless statements by BJP. He wasn’t associated with any political party. Our father has been the Chairman J&K Peoples League. How can we join hands with anti-movement party? It is baseless news,” said Imtiyaz. “They want to defame us. We will hold a press conference tomorrow and expose them.”
He added that his brother “would not even like to talk about BJP, how he would attend the party meets”.
Arif’s father Mohammad Maqbool Sofi is a former chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League – a constituent of Hurriyat conference. He has spent 12 years in various jails in Kashmir and outside and is now bed ridden due to back problem.
Besides working as medical representative, Arif ferried school children in a cab for livelihood.
The eldest of his siblings, Arif, is survived by three sisters and two brothers, besides his ailing parents.
Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday wrote on his Twitter handle that he condemned the killing of Arif.
“Deeply saddened and strongly condemn the killing of 25 years old Arif Ahmed of Sopore by unknown assailants, Killing human beings in every form is cowardly and against humanity,” the Mirwaiz wrote on Twitter.