Anantnag: A senior Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) leader, Mir Hafizullah, was shot at and killed by unidentified gunmen here in Anantnag district of south Kashmir on Tuesday.
His wife was also injured during the shootout, which took place right outside his house, in Badura area of Akinagam village in Achabal, Anantnag.
A senior police official confirmed the news of Mir’s killing while talking to Kashmir Reader. He said that the gunmen came in a car and shot at Mir right outside his un-walled house at about 11:00 AM.
He said that the injured Mir and his wife were shifted to a nearby hospital, from where Mir was referred to Anantnag district hospital.
“He was declared brought dead at the hospital,” the police official said.
The news spread like wildfire in Anantnag district despite curbs in place on mobile internet in wake of the ongoing Panchayat elections.
Thousands of people reached Badura village to participate in funeral prayers of the slain.
The mourners were addressed via telephone by Hurriyat-G chairman Syed Ali Geelani, who paid tributes to the slain.
“Like the Jamaat activist were killed by Ikhwan (government-backed gunmen) in late ’90s and early 2000s to weaken the organisation, the same is being done to Hurriyat activists now by men armed by the state to weaken the freedom struggle,” Geelani told the huge gathering.
Mir is survived by his ailing mother, his wife, and five little kids.
A relative told Kashmir Reader that Mir had been receiving threatening calls and had observed suspicious movement around his house since more than a month now.
“He had recently caught a man snooping around his house. He had informed the police about the same,” the relative said.
The Hurriyat-G had also urged the police to look into the threat perception to Mir.
Mir, taking precautions, had left home a month ago and was staying at an undisclosed location.
“He came back on Monday as he had to get one his kids admitted to school today. He was shot at as he stepped out of his house this morning,” the relative said.
Mir has been a political activist since 1983. He joined the Jamiat-e-Tolba (JeT), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, in 1983 before he joined the armed resistance in Kashmir in early ’90s.
Mir was arrested and jailed for more than six years by the authorities. He joined the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat soon after his release from jail.
Even after joining the TeH he was frequently jailed, starting in 2008.
“He rarely remained out of jail since 2008 and was booked under PSA twice during this time,” the relative told Kashmir Reader.
He said that Mir was arrested in a dramatic manner from Achabal in 2016, by the slain police officer Feroz Dar, who posed as a militant to arrest Mir from a pro-freedom rally.
Mir remained jailed since 2016 and was released less than two months ago.
The killing has evoked condemnation from many separatist leaders, including the United Jihad Council (UJC) chief, Syed Salahuddin.
Following a massive funeral, Mir was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard, after several rounds of funeral prayers.