Thousands attend funeral of soldiers killed in Jammu attack

Thousands attend funeral of soldiers killed in Jammu attack
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Mohammad Suhail/ Mushtaq Ahmad

Anantnag/ Kupwara: Hundreds of people including women and children on Tuesday thronged Tral’s Reshipora village to mourn the killing of an army soldier and his father in the militant attack on Jammu’s Sunjwan military station.
Bodies of Lance Naik Muhammad Iqbal Sheikh and his father Ghulam Mohiuddin reached the village on Tuesday afternoon, where hundreds of people had already assembled to have a last glimpse of the slain father-son duo.
Seven soldiers, three militants and the father of a slain soldier were killed in the 30-hour-long fidayeen attack reportedly staged by Jaish-e-Mohammad militants on army’s Sunjwan military station in the outskirts of Jammu on Feb 10. The sprawling military station was housing the 36 Brigade of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI).
The family of the slain duo and people in the village were waiting for the arrival of the bodies for the last three days. Emotional scenes were witnessed as the bodies reached the village with women beating their chest and almost everyone’s eyes turning moist.
Slain soldier Iqbal, his wife Shabnum, and their one-and-a-half year-old son, Absarul Haq, were in Jammu and a couple of days ago Iqbal’s father had visited them.
“He (Ghulam Mohiuddin ) was not keeping well and needed to see a doctor in Jammu. That’s why he was visiting his son. Who knew death awaited him there,” a relative of the bereaved family said.
Mohiuddin and Iqbal are survived by their wives, Iqbal’s toddler son and his two unmarried sisters.
Iqbal, according to the relative, was the sole breadwinner of the family.
The duo was yet to be buried while this report was being filed.
Similar scenes were witnessed in Kewa village of Qazigund in Anantnag, the native village of another slain soldier Manzoor Ahmad Deva killed in the Jmmu attack. Hundreds of people turned up for Deva’s funeral in his native village when his body arrived there. He was laid to rest amid wails and sobs.
In Kupwara, the bodies of slain army soldiers Mohammad Ashraf Mir of Madianpora and Habibullah Qureshi of Hyhama reached their native places on Tuesday afternoon. Thousands of people including relatives and friends were present at their homes. The bodies were scheduled to reach home on Monday but due to bad weather conditions fights from Jammu could not take off. On Tuesday morning the authorities shifted the bodies to Srinagar in a chartered flight from where they were shifted to their native places. Thousands of people who were waiting from Sunday attended their funeral prayers before the duo was laid to rest.
Mohammad Shafi Qurashi, an uncle of Habibullah Qurashi, said the Deputy Commissioner Kupwara along with SSP Kupwara and officers of local army camps were present at the funeral. Qurashi left behind six daughters, five sisters, a younger brother and old-age parents.
Similarly, several district officers and army officers from nearby army camps visited the home of Mohammad Ashraf Mir of Hyhama and paid tribute to the deceased soldiers, a relative of Ashraf said. Army soldiers were also present at the guard of honour to both the slain soldiers before people buried the bodies at the native villages. Ashraf left behind two children, a son and a daughter, his wife, and old-age parents. Ashraf was a junior commissioned officer (JCO) in the Indian Army.