Clashes in Srinagar after police use force at funeral procession

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jan 12, 2016 20:14 IST
Kashmiri Muslim run for cover as Indian policemen chase them during the funeral procession of Sajad Ahmed Bhat in Srinagar. (AP Photo)

Clashes erupted in the outskirts of Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar after police lobbed teargas shells on the funeral procession of slain Lashkar-e-Toiba militant commander Sajad Ahmad Bhat.

Police said Bhat, a resident of Zewan, was killed in an encounter in Zakura area of the city on Monday.

On Tuesday, a few thousand people marched along with the body of Bhat in Zewan and tried to take his body to the graveyard through the highway from southern side of the city.

Police stopped the protesters by lobbing tear-gas shells prompting youth to throw stones at the security forces.

The procession, then, reached the local graveyard through inner areas where Bhat was laid to rest amid pro-freedom slogans.

Eyewitnesses said that police again resorted to teargas shelling after the militant’s body was laid to rest. “The police thought that the youth will pelt stones after the funeral so they dispersed them by using force,” an eyewitness said.

Meanwhile, the Hardline as well as moderate separatists paid tributes to the slain militant.

However, chairperson of women separatist group Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Syeda Asiya Andrabi alleged that Sajad Ahmad was killed in a fake encounter in Zakura. She said Sajad was arrested last week and was held at Cargo detention centre.

“On Monday, he was taken to Zakura and was killed there in a staged gunfight. She added that the “Indian forces have restarted the tactics of custodial killing of Mujahideen.”

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