Clashes after Friday prayers in several areas of south Kashmir
Anantnag: Government forces raided the house of slain Hizb militant Sameer Tiger late Thursday night in Drubgam village of Pulwama district, hours ahead of his Fatiha (fourth day of mourning), causing panic and protests in the area.
Tiger and his associate Aqib Khan of nearby Rajpora were killed in a gunfight with government forces on Monday in Drubgam village. A civilian was also killed during the encounter after forces opened fire on protestors, injuring more than 20 others in the process.
As per locals, a contingent of government forces arrived in the village at about 11:15 PM and tried to remove the banners and posters that had been put up by locals in the area. The posters depicted pictures of slain militants, including Burhan Wani, and also adorned the walls of Tiger’s house.
“The forces tried to take down the banners and take them along. They did take a couple of them, but the people came to know of it and came out in hundreds,” a local source told Kashmir Reader.
Local sources said that the forces, sensing trouble, left the area. The people who had come out stayed around Tiger’s house till late in the night.
“Taranas were played on mosque loudspeakers and announcements were made for people to come out and remain vigilant,” sources said.
Pulwama SSP Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam confirmed that an army party had gone to the village late in the night.
“We called their officer and asked them to leave the village. They did leave but did not officially acknowledge that their men had gone into the village,” Aslam told Kashmir Reader.
From early Friday morning, hundreds of people made a beeline to Drubgam from different parts of south Kashmir to pay tributes to the slain militant.
“People visited Tiger’s home and then the graveyard where he has been buried,” locals told Kashmir Reader, adding that the people prayed for the departed soul.
The mourners also laid Pakistani flags and flowers over the graves of militants buried in the graveyard, including that of Tiger’s.
While Drubgam remained calm, clashes erupted in many parts of Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag district following Friday prayers.
Several people sustained minor injuries during these clashes.
As per sources, clashes between government forces and local youth erupted in Bellow, Pulwama main town and Nikkas areas of Pulwama district.
In Anantnag town, clashes were reported from Janglat Mandi area. In Shopian district, reports of clashes came from the main town, Naraw and Shirmal areas.
While other parts of south Kashmir resumed normal activity after a day of shutdown, Shopian remained shut on Friday as well.