Baramulla: The body of Muzaffar Ahmad Mir was exhumed from Hamam village in Rafiabad Baramulla at about 6pm on Saturday and then taken to his native village Langate in neighbouring police district Handwara. Thousands of people were waiting at Langate for the body, which arrived at 7pm. People lifted the body on their shoulders and marched towards the Eid Gah in Langate, where more than five-thousand people offered funeral prayers, shouting anti-India and pro-Azadi slogans.
Later, people offered evening prayers together in the Eid Gah with the body placed in front of them. The body was buried in the martyrs’ graveyard at Langate where a grave had already been dug in the afternoon.
Muzaffar Ahmad was killed along with four other militants in the first week of August by the army in Vigi forests ranges in Rafiabad. The army said that all the slain militants were non-locals and were associated with the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). However, on August 8, when police along with some local people buried the militants in Hamam village of Rafiabad, a family living in Langate Handwara claimed that one of the slain militants was their son, Muzaffar Ahmad Mir, son of Bashir Ahmad Mir, who was missing from home since August 5 and who was not a militant.
The family approached the police and the civil administration to ask for Muzaffar’s body. DNA samples of Bashir Ahmad Mir were taken to be matched with DNA samples of the slain militant. A senior police officer said that the claims of the family were found to be true after DNA tests and the authorities decided that the body of Muzaffar would be handed over to his family.
On Saturday morning, the police called the family to police station Dangiwocha. The police there informed the family that they will receive the body but only after permission from District Magistrate Baramulla. A close relative of the family told Kashmir Reader that they visited the office of the District Magistrate and then the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sopore, both of whom gave permission to exhume the body.
In the evening, locals said that a team of police along with the Mir family and doctors reached Hamam village to exhume the body.
To avoid any untoward incident, the authorities suspended mobile internet service across police district Handwara and deployed extra troops across Baramulla district.
A complete shutdown was observed in Langate town on Saturday where all shops and business centres remained closed, though transport was plying on the roads.
Tehsildar Langate Mohammad Ramzan and Naib Tehsildar Ayaz Indrabi along with police, doctors and a police team were present when the grave was being dug for Muzaffar. Later, both the officials participated in the funeral prayers for Muzaffar.