Thousands turn up for soldier's funeral

Thousands turn up for soldier's funeral

There was unprecedented response in Kashmir on Friday when thousands of people attended the funeral of an army soldier killed by militants.

Lance Naik Ghulam Mohiuddin Rather, who hailed from militancy-infested Marhama area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district, was also the neighbour of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Locals said that it was one of the biggest funeral processions for a security forces personnel in the area, especially in the aftermath of the five-month unrest in the Valley in which more than 90 civilians were killed and thousands injured.

Rather, along with two other soldiers, was killed when an army convoy was ambushed at Shopian in south Kashmir on Wednesday night. A lieutenant colonel and a major were among six others injured in the shoot out.

Rather had joined Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry and was posted with the Rashtriya Rifles, the counter-insurgency force raised in the mid-1990s that has been at the forefront of the effort to break the militancy in the state.

Over 5,000 participated

Local residents said that more than five thousand people participated in funeral procession of Rather which surprised the authorities too. “He (Rather) was a good human being and always used to help his neighbours. He will be missed by everybody in the village. His was one of the biggest funerals in our area in the recent past,’’ Khalid Ahmad, a neighbour, said.

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