Sopore: People stayed awake the whole night in Harwan village of Sopore so that at the first ray of light they could begin gathering for the funeral of Abdul Majeed Mir, a young militant from their village who was killed in a gunfight with government forces at his native village on Tuesday.
The body of Abdul Majeed was kept at his home during the night, after government forces handed it over late in the evening. Amid a heavy deployment of government troops on all entry and exit points of Harwan village, mourners began arriving at Abdul Mir’s home in numbers that swelled with each passing minute.
The 24-year-old Abdul Majeed Mir, son of a fruit businessman Bashir Ahmad Mir, joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba in June this year, after he escaped from Bomai police station in Sopore. He was arrested in November 2016 on charges of militancy and was imprisoned under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). He was kept in Kathua and Kot Balwal jails in Jammu province for almost two years before he escaped.
Abdul Majeed passed Class 10 from a school in Mumbai in 2015, before coming back to Kashmir, a cousin of his said. He said that Mir was one of three siblings. He had an elder brother and a sister.
When Abdul’s body was carried out of his home, on a bed with a blanket covering it, thousands who had gathered at Abdul Mir’s home, including women and children, jostled for a glimpse of his face.
The funeral procession went through the lanes of the village with youth crying, shouting and saluting the martyr. Slogans of “Moosa Moosa, Zakir Moosa” and anti-India slogans echoed in the village.
The procession of men, women and children went to the Eidgah ground of Nowpora village. Here the funeral prayers were said. The ground was packed to the brim.
The majority of people had reached Abdul Mir’s home so early that it was unlikely they had any breakfast. It did not seem so, however, from the loud and energetic slogans they raised in favour of Azadi and in honour of Mir. Hundreds of people were trying to record the scenes on their mobile phones.
The slain militant was laid to rest in the local martyrs’ graveyard of Nowpora village. The mourners walked back to Abdul Majeed Mir’s home to once again pay their respects to his family.