At native villages, locals mourn slain army men’s death 

Pulwama/Kupwara: People turned out in huge numbers to mourn the local soldiers who died during a militant strike in Sunjwan military station in Jammu last week.

Though considered to be sleepy villages, the local populace in Nigeenpora village in Tral Maidanpora and Hyhama in Kupwara turned out in good numbers to grieve for the young men who lost their life in the attack that left 10 people dead.

In Tral as soon as the dead bodies of 31 year old lance naik Mohammad Iqbal Sheikh and 55 year old Ghulam Mohiuddin Sheikh (his father) reached, people came out in large numbers to receive the dead bodies.

Both had died in the attack on Saturday last when suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad militants stormed the highly fortified Sunjwan army camp and targeted the family quarters inside.

Iqbal was posted at the Ist-JAKLI of Indian army, said a relative. The deceased is survived by mother, wife, a year old son, three sisters and a brother.

He was working in the army from the last 12 years and was posted at Jammu Sunjuwan army station from last one year, he said.

The deceased solider was married three years back. His father, wife and infant son, were putting up with him as he was posted in Jammu and his family wanted to spend time with him.

“His father was very proud of his son and he had gone to visit him. No one ever wondered that he will die with him during the attack,” said a local.

“Iqbal’s son and wife miraculously survived the attack,” the locals informed.

Notably, large number of people including the relatives of the deceased were waiting for the dead bodies from last two days as bad weather delayed the arrival of bodies to their native place. 

Today their bodies were airlifted to Srinagar and later were dispatched to their native village in afternoon where they were laid to rest

Meanwhile, people in hundreds gathered in north Kashmir’s Maidanpora village in Lolab where the slain army men Mohammadd Ashraf Mir son of Ghulam Mohudin Mir resided.

As soon as the dead body arrived in the village, people in hordes assembled at his place and paid their last respect for the deceased.

A sea of people thronged the village as Mohammad Ashraf Mir’s mortal remains reached his native Maidanpora village on Tuesday afternoon.

Locals carried his body in a procession to the burial ground. Men, women and children from Maidanpora and adjacent villages turned out to attend the funeral, eye witnesses said.

Subedar Mohammad Ashraf Mir’s last rites were held with full military honours and a gun salute was given to him at the cremation ground.

Mir (41) has left behind a wife, three children, old aged parents, two sisters and two brothers.

Just a few kilometers away, the scene was no different. At Batapora Hyhama village too, people had assembled in good numbers to pay their last respect to Habibullah Qureshi son of Amanaullah Qureshi of Bhatpora Hyhama Kupwara. Habibullah was killed along with his native colleague Mohammad Ashraf Mir son of Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir of Maidanpora Lolab Kupwara.

Earlier, the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti laid floral wreaths on the bodies of Army personnel who were killed in Saturday’s militant attack on Sunjwan Army camp.

Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh; Ministers, Abdul Haq Khan, Choudhary Zulfkar; MLA, Jammu West, Sat Sharma,  senior Army and Police officers also laid wreaths on the bodies of Army personnel.

Later, the Chief Minister interacted with the family members of the slain Army personnel and consoled them. She conveyed her heartfelt condolences and prayed for peace to their loved ones.

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