Family of killed civilian maintains he was shot 2 kms from encounter site
Anantnag: Those who witnessed it described it to be the biggest funeral gathering since the throng at Burhan Wani’s. Amid a complete shutdown in Sopat village of Kulgam district, tens of thousands attended the funeral prayers of slain Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander, Sakoor Dar.
Dar was killed Sunday afternoon along with a Pakistani militant, following a brief gunfight with government forces in Chidder village of Kulgam district.
People kept assembling at Dar’s home in Sopat since late Sunday evening, minutes after his body reached home. Hundreds of people stayed awake in and around Dar’s house, “freedom songs” playing over masjid loudspeakers through the night, local sources told Kashmir Reader.
“At the break of dawn, thousands more reached the village. Within hours, a local playground swelled to the brim with mourners, who had come from far and wide,” local sources said.
They said that people had come from different parts of the valley, including Srinagar and north Kashmir.
“I have been to many funerals in the past few years, but this one was arguably the biggest after Burhan Wani,” a local photojournalist said.
People kept coming in till afternoon and at least seven back-to-back funeral prayers were held for the slain.
“Children, women and elderly were also part of the funeral,” locals said.
At least two militants appeared at the funeral and offered a gun salute to their slain commander.
Dar was an active militant since 2016 and had risen to become a commander. The security agencies described Dar as a category A++ militant. They had recently put his name in the recently released list of 21 “most wanted” militants in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people also thronged the house of Yawar Ahmad Dar, the civilian youth shot dead during protests yesterday, in Ghassipora village of Wanpoh area.
Yawar was buried late Sunday evening. He is survived by his old father and three younger siblings, who include two unmarried sisters.
Yawar was an auto driver by profession and shared the responsibility of the household along with his scrap dealer father, Abdul Rehman Dar.
The family maintained that Yawar was killed more than two kilometres from the site of the gunfight in Chidder village.
“He was shot at in Thokerpora area of Qaimoh, which is more than 2 kms from the gunfight site,” his family said.
Their claim was seconded by some people present at the house, who claimed to be Yawar’s friends.
A funeral prayer was also held for the Sirhama youth, Shahid Nazir Hajam, who succumbed to his bullet wounds on Sunday.
Hajam was shot in his head during Friday’s gunfight in Srigufwara village of Anantnag district, during which a civilian and four militants of the Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, said to be affiliated to Islamic State (IS), were killed.
A complete shutdown was observed across south Kashmir on Tuesday in response to a shutdown call issued by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) against “continuous civilian killings in the Valley”.
There were no reports of any clashes anywhere till this report was being filed.