Hundreds attend funeral prayers
Anantnag: Several hundred people on Friday participated in the funeral prayers of three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, one of them the general secretary of the party’s youth wing, while the police claimed that the three were killed in a “pre-planned” attack by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants.
Many senior BJP leaders, including state chief Ravinder Raina, visited the residences of two of the slain men in YK Pora area of Kulgam district.
The three slain men – Fida Hussain Yattoo, BJP’s district youth president for Kulgam, a resident of YK Pora; Umar Hajam, also from YK Pora; and Haroon Rasheed from nearby Sopat village – were shot at and killed by militants late Thursday evening in YK Pora area.
The three were travelling in a car when they were ambushed by militants and shot at indiscriminately, leaving all three of them dead on the spot. Their bodies, following medico-legal formalities, were handed over to the families late Thursday night and funeral prayers were held this morning.
“Several hundred people attended the funeral of Hussain and a little less the other two funerals, here in YK Pora and Sopat,” a local source told Kashmir Reader.
BJP leaders including Raina, Sofi Yousuf, Rafiq Wani and some other youth leaders visited the homes of Hussain and Hajam in YK Pora area to express solidarity with the bereaved families.
Raina blamed Pakistan for the killings and said that the three of them had laid down their lives for the nation. “This is murder of humanity and a blot on humanity. This terror is sponsored by Pakistan here,” Raina said.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar also visited YK Pora and expressed sympathy with the families. Kumar, in an interaction with the media, said that the attack was a pre-planned one and was carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba militants.
Claiming that a Maruti Alto car, in which the militants had travelled, was seized by the police in Tailwini area of Achabal, Kumar said, “Involvement of local militants like Nissar Ahmad Khanday, Abass Sheikh of Khodweni is coming to fore and there is also possibility of involvement of a foreign militant.”
Kumar also maintained that Yattoo had left a secure location in Pahalgam, where 1,619 other vulnerable people have been kept by the government, after giving an undertaking.
“However, what he was doing at a far-off place is a matter of investigation and will be revealed after the investigation is carried out,” Kumar said, adding that 157 BJP workers have been provided PSOs and 30 guards.
“Vulnerable people would be provided more security. The PSOs have been asked not to allow them to move during night hours to vulnerable places,” Kumar said.