Gun salute offered to slain militants

Gun salute offered to slain militants

Gun salute offered to slain militants

Groups of militants appeared in south Kashmir on Saturday to offer “gun salutes” to their fallen comrades.

Eyewitnesses said at least five militants from both the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen attended the funeral of slain commander Junaid Mattoo in Khudwani village of Anantnag in south Kashmir and offered a “gun salute” with young men and women rejoicing as pro-freedom and anti-India slogans filled the air.

Mattoo was killed along with two associates in an encounter with security forces in Arwani village on Friday.
Such was the rush of the mourners that eight rounds of funeral prayers were held for Mattoo.

Similar reports were also received from Heff village in Shopian district where at least 10 militants attended the funeral of slain LeT militant Nasir Wani to offer a “gun salute”.

“First, two militants appeared at the funeral which was attended by thousands of people. They touched the face of Nasir Wani and fired several shots in air. Later, more militants appeared to join the funeral prayers and gun salute,” said an eyewitness.

With the graph of militancy going up significantly and the space for mainstream politics shrinking swiftly, militants parading themselves in front of the cameras of mediapersons has brought back memories of the early 90s when this used to be a common sight.

 Weapons can’t bring peace: CM

Alarmed over massive increase in the killings, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said neither guns nor the army can bring peace to the militancy-hit state.

“Dialogue is the only way out on Kashmir as neither guns nor the army can bring peace to the troubled Valley. The only way to resolve the unrest is to engage in continued talks,” she said while addressing the lawmakers in the state Assembly.

Mehbooba’s comment comes a day after six policemen, including a Station House Officer (SHO), were killed and their bodies mutilated by militants in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

She said there have been serious efforts at denying talks. “Last time when Sharad Yadav and others came, I even wrote a letter to them (Hurriyat), suggested them to open a window for talks, but they rejected it,” she said. “What can we do?”

Responding to a debate on the situation on ground, the chief minister termed the ongoing crisis as an outcome of the “denial of democracy”.

“It was the rigged election of 1987 that actually created the ongoing situation. (Hizbul chief) Syed Salahuddin and (JKLF chief) Yasin Malik are there and I think I need not take more names,” she said.

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