SHOPIAN: The policeman who was killed on Sunday evening while guarding a Hurriyat leader’s house in Soura was on Monday laid to rest at his native village of Keegam in Shopian district, where hundreds attended his funeral prayers.
Farooq Ahmad Yatoo was killed in a suspected militant attack at Soura where he was deployed to guard the residence of Hurriyat leader Fazal-Haq Qureshi. Police said that his service rifle was taken away by the militants after they shot him.
Emotional scenes of women beating their chests and wailing were witnessed in Keegam when Farooq’s body was being taken towards the funeral ground. Family sources said that Farooq was in police service for the past seven years. “He was first working in the department as special police officer (SPO). In 2013, he was recruited as Constable under the direct general recruitment held in Shopian,” Rayees Ahmad, a relative, said.
Bashir Ahmad Bhat, another relative, told Kashmir Reader that Farooq has left behind a 5-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son. He said that Farooq’s younger brother, Muhammad Iqbal, could not reach home as he was in Saudi Arabia where he is employed.
Showkat Ahmad Rather, a neighbour, said that Farroq’s son doesn’t even know that his father is no more in this world. “He was nice to everyone. A sober person has become the victim of violence,” Rather said.
Masrat Jan, wife of Farooq, was in absolute shock with tears constantly rolling down her face. “Where will I go now? Why did you leave me?” she wailed.
Family members of the slain policeman told Kashmir Reader that no official from the police or civil administration visited their home since yesterday evening. “He was killed while performing his duty but not a single official bothered to visit our home. Yesterday evening, the in-charge of Keegam police post visited our home but since then, no one from police or civil administration came here to at least offer comfort to the bereaved family,” a family member said.
Keegam village has about 700 households, with several persons working in the police. Locals said that about 700 mourners including relatives and villagers attended the funeral prayers of Farooq.