Sopore: Unknown gunmen on Saturday shot dead a Hurriyat activist in Bomai village of north Kashmir’s Sopore town. Shakir-ul-Rehman Sultani, 45, son of late Mufti Nizamuddin Sultani, resident of Reshipora Bomai, joined Hurriyat (G) in 2010 and was working as a tehsil president of Hurriyat (G). He was also the Imam at a local mosque.
Sultani was shot dead a few meters away from the local martyrs’ graveyard where he lies buried now. He was known as an “ideologue” and as a good-natured man in his village.
Amid anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, thousands of mourners offered his funeral prayers at the ground of the higher secondary school in Bomai village.
According to reports, some unknown gunmen intercepted Sultani near the Boys Higher Secondary School and fired two shots from close range at his neck and chest. They left him lying in a pool of blood.
“We rushed him to Sopore hospital, where he was declared brought dead,” said Dr Syed Muntazir, cousin of the slain activist.
“During the uprising in 2016, police arrested him and slapped PSA against him for his pro-freedom activities. He was lodged in Kupwara jail. He was recently released on Eid-Ul-Azha from the jail after spending almost 18 months there. Twelve FIRs were registered against him in Bomai police station,” Dr Muntazir said.
He said that in 2010, during a peaceful protest in Bomai the CRPF opened fire in which Sultani was hit by two bullets in his arm and thigh. He was treated at a Srinagar hospital for a month for the injuries, Dr Muntazir said.
In the past, Sultani ran a textile shop in his village for many years, but when he joined Hurriyat he left the business and started preaching at a local mosque.
The slain activist has left behind a wife and five unmarried daughters.
SSP Sopore Javid Iqbal told Kashmir Reader that suspected militants shot dead the Hurriyat activist. He said the area has been cordoned off to nab the culprits.
Police in a statement said that a case has been registered over the killing and investigations initiated.
As soon as the news of the killing spread in Bomai area, thousands of people from adjacent villages reached the village to attend funeral prayers of the slain activist.
This is the second killing of a Hurriyat (G) activist in Sopore area. On June 9, 2015, prominent Hurriyat activist Mohammad Altaf Sheikh, 45, who was a pharmacist by profession, was killed by suspected militants near New Colony Sopore. Police then said he was killed by the Qayoom Najar-led militant group due to some rivalry, but the slain’s family blamed army and police for the killing.