Sopore: Violent clashes between crowds of mourners and government forces broke out during the funeral of local militant Mehraj-ud-din Sofi in Sopore on Thursday. Thousands of people had gathered at Iqbal Market in Sopore to attend the funeral prayers of Sofi, who was killed along with Lashkar commander Naveed Jutt in Budgam on Wednesday.
Sources said that when the body of Sofi reached his native village in Sopore, thousands of people took to the streets and tried to march to different areas of the town. Along the way they clashed with deployed forces of police and paramilitary CRPF. The people hurled stones and rocks at the forces’ personnel, who in turn fired tear smoke shells to disperse them.
The clashes continued for hours, locals said. They alleged that government forces had disrupted the funeral procession by firing dozens of tear smoke canisters towards people who were carrying the body of the slain militant and walking alongside.
Eyewitness said that several people were injured in the clashes and were taken to local hospitals.
A complete shutdown was observed in Sopore on Thursday against Sofi’s killing. All shops and other business establishments remained closed and there was little traffic on the roads.