Dozens arrested in J&K’s Sopore for attending funeral of slain JeM commander
Srinagar: Police have arrested more than a dozen people for joining the funeral of a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander in Sopore area of north Kashmir in violation of government advisories against public gatherings during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The arrests were made after Jammu and Kashmir Police registered a case against those who assembled for the funeral of the JeM commander at Saidpora locality.
Sopore’s superintendent of police Javed Iqbal said more than 12 people were arrested for violating social distancing norms at the funeral. “More people will be arrested,” he said.
The JeM commander, Sajjad Nawab Dar, 23, was killed in a gun battle with security forces in Gulabad area of Sopore on Tuesday.
Soon after his body was handed over to his family, more than 1,000 people, including women, from his village and adjoining areas joined a large funeral procession. Pictures of the gathering went viral on social media and many people questioned why social distancing norms were ignored at the funeral.
A police spokesperson said on Thursday a first information report (FIR) was registered against the people who gathered for the funeral and violated Covid-19-related protocols and government advisories on social distancing.
“The legal heirs had stated in writing they would adhere to social distancing norms when the body was handed over to them after completing medico-legal formalities. The matter is under investigation and defaulters will be dealt with strictly as per the law,” the spokesperson said.
People familiar with developments said police teams conducted raids at several villages last night and arrested some people who participated in the funeral. Police are trying to identify more people who were in the gathering.