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Thousands participate in funerals of two militants, civilian in Srinagar

Srinagar, Oct 17: Thousands of people participated in the funerals of the two militants and a civilian killed in an encounter at Fateh Kadal area of old city on Wednesday.

Multiple funerals were offered for the slain militants and a civilian, before they were laid to rest at martyr’s graveyard at Eidgah here.

Two militants including a Lashkar-e- Toiba commander, Mehraj –ud-din Bangroo, teenage militant Faid Mushtaq Waza, Rayees Ahmad, a civilian (who police dubbed as militants’ accomplice) and a cop were killed during the encounter in Srinagar.

Soon after the encounter ended, thousands of people tried to march towards the encounter site, who were encountered with the barrage of government forces triggering clashes.

Heavy restriction was imposed in the area following snapping of internet and shutting down of schools and colleges in the city.

Post encounter, police issued an advisory for people living in the vicinity of Fateh Kadal, asking them to stay away from the site of the gunfight.

Clashes however, ceased to stop as protestors pelted stones at the forces dismantled the burnt house, where the militants were trapped and killed.

Police later resorted to aerial firing to disperse the protestors near the encounter site.

Protests and clashes also erupted at Khanyar soon after the news about the killing of the local boy, Fahad Mushtaq spread.

While encounter ended in morning, police handed over bodies to the families only in the late afternoon.

The bodies were handed over to the families at nearly 4 pm after which people started marching towards their residences to participate in funeral prayers.

The funeral of two militants and civilian were initially held at their residences before being taken for burial at martyrs’ graveyard.

A militant also appeared at Fatehkadal, who gave a brief speech before leaving the spot.

The number of the people participating in the funeral prayers swelled with eyewitnesses claiming, at least, an assembly of 50,000 people.

Amid slogans, the second funeral of Faid Mushtaq was held at Jamia Masjid Nowhatta.

People who followed the procession were seen waving Pakistan flags and chanted pro-azaadi slogans.

A separate procession of women was also seen following the men who were wailing and praising militants by chanting local elegies.

The procession followed till Eidgah, where it further swelled as people from other areas including Nawakadal, SafaKadal, Qamarwari, Alikadal joined to offer funeral prayers.

Clashes again erupted in Eidgah, Safakadal and Ali Masjid after the slain militants and civilian was laid to rest.

Forces used teargas shells and also fired aerial shots to disperse the protestors, however clashes were going at the time this report was filed.