Baramulla: Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of local Lashkar militant Aqil Rashid Sofi in Khanpora area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday. Sofi was killed along with a militant from Sopore in a gunfight with government forces in Kreeri area of Baramulla on Thursday morning.
Locals of Khanpora told Kashmir Reader that two families of Khanpora were called by the Baramulla police on Friday morning for identification of the two militants slain in Kreeri. They said that one among the two militants was identified by his family as Aqil Rashid Sofi, son of Abdul Rashid Sofi, resident of Khanpora.
Locals said that Sofi joined militant ranks about two months ago. After the identification and police formalities, people took his body and reached his home at Khanpora where thousands of people including women and children were waiting. When Sofi’s body reached his home, the waiting people began shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, witnesses said.
Later, thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers before Sofi was buried in the local martyrs’ graveyard which is situated on a small mountain.
The second militant who was killed along with Sofi was later identified as Mehnajul Mir of Brath Kalan Sopore.
Sofi was the youngest among the three sons of Abdul Rashid Sofi. He passed Class 12 in 2017 and then spent almost a year at his home. At that time his parents started construction of a new house beside their old one. On September 5 this year he went missing from home, a relative of the family told Kashmir Reader.
The relative said that Sofi never informed any of his friends that he had joined militant ranks.
The family had filled a missing report at police station Baramulla. The police later informed them that Sofi had joined militant ranks.
Sofi’s father is a labourer, the relative said.