To avoid crowding, police bury militants killed in J&K gunfight away from their villages
Police on Friday said they buried three local militants killed in a gun battle in south Kashmir’s Shopian district at a location away from their native villages in order to avert a large gathering amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
Officials said relatives of the dead men were present at the burial along with a magistrate. All legal formalities were completed before the burial, they added.
On Wednesday, four militants were killed in a gun battle at Mulhora village in Shopian district. After the skirmish ended, police didn’t reveal the identities of the slain militants and buried their bodies at Sonmarg in Ganderbal district, 110 km from the spot of the gun battle.
Asked about the identity of the militants killed in Shopian, inspector general of police Vijay Kumar said three of the four men were identified by their families. “They (families) participated in the burial in the presence of a magistrate,” he said.
Kumar acknowledged the militants weren’t buried in their native villages. A senior police officer, who declined to be named, confirmed the militants were buried in Ganderbal.
This is the second time since the Covid-19 lockdown began in Kashmir that the bodies of militants have been buried away from their villages.
On April 17, two unidentified militants were killed in Shopian and hours later, two families wrote an application to the local deputy commissioner saying the slain men were their kin.
Police took the bodies of the two men to north Kashmir’s Baramulla district and buried them there and officials later said no one had approached them regarding the dead men.
Later, Shopian’s deputy commissioner permitted two members of the families to travel to Baramulla. The families have now submitted an application to Baramulla’s deputy commissioner, demanding exhumation of the bodies.
However, officials said exhumation can be done only after legal formalities are fulfilled as required by the government.
On April 8, when a Jaish-e-Mohammed commander was killed in a gun battle in Sopore, his body was handed over to relatives after they gave an assurance to police that they would observe social distancing at the funeral.
However, hundreds of people gathered for the funeral and photographs of the event went viral on social media. A day later, police registered a case against several people for violating social distancing norms, and more than 12 people were taken into custody.
Similarly, when four militants were killed in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district in the first week of April, a large number of people attended their funeral and didn’t observe social distancing norms.
Since the beginning of the lockdown, 17 militants have been killed across Kashmir.
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- The question before the Supreme Court was whether the accused should be tried as a juvenile as under the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 as it then prevailed when the crime was committed as those under 16 years were termed juvenile under the act.