Thousands attend Downtown militant’s funeral at Eidgah
SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Police and CRPF personnel killed three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants in Chattabal area of Srinagar on Saturday during a four-hour-long operation.
Four men of the government forces were injured in the gunfight but all of them are stated to be stable.
According to the police, the militants were planning to carry out a strike ahead of May 7, when state government offices were to reopen in Srinagar after shifting from Jammu, the winter capital of the state.
The operation was launched in the wee hours at Chattabal when personnel of Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police and Quick Action Team (QAT) of the CRPF cordoned off an under-construction building in the area following an input that three militants were holed up inside the premises.
“Our first aim was to ensure that civilians around the area were safe and after ensuring that, police and CRPF personnel moved into the building and were fired upon by the terrorists holed up there,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Swayam Prakash Pani said here after the operation.
The owner of the house Hanief Koul told Kashmir Reader that there was no militant in the house when government forces came to search it at around 2.45am Friday night.
One of the three slain militants was identified as Fayyaz Ahmed Hammal, who has been active for past one year. Officials said he is a school pass out, about 30 years of age, and a resident of Khanka-e-Mohalla in downtown Srinagar.
Police officials believe that Hammal, who was earlier working at a printing press and was an active stone thrower, had been tasked to bring the two other militants, believed to be Pakistanis, to the city for carrying out an attack.
Police later handed over his body to his family. A local told Kashmir Reader that his family was told by police to get Hammal buried in a local graveyard. However, the family told police that Hammal’s wish was that he be buried at the martyrs’ graveyard at Eid gah. Police handed over Hammal’s body to the family in the evening and before that removed all the deployment from the entire downtown.
An eyewitness told Kashmir Reader that multiple rounds of funerals were offered to him, first at his residence, than at the historic Jamia Masjid at Nowhatta, and then at Eidgah.
The other two slain militants, according to doctors, were suffering from gangrene, a disease which is a result of frosbite that militants get while infiltrating from across the region in extreme cold conditions.
Besides three AK rifles, a huge quantity of ammunition, including five magazines each, and a medical kit were recovered from the militants, police said.