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Dozen people injured during clashes in Shopian

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Srinagar, Jan 13: Around a dozen persons were injured in government forces’ action on protestors during clashes in Shopian district of south Kashmir on Sunday.

Clashes erupted between groups of youth and government forces in Sugan village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district amid multiple rounds of funeral prayers for Al-Badr commander Zeenat-ul-Islam who was killed in an encounter on Saturday.

Sugan is the native village of Islam, a category A++ militant, who had switched over to Al-Badr from Hizbul Mujahideen in November last year.

Clashes erupted soon after the government forces tried to chase away the people from assembling in the village, reports said, adding at least a dozen persons were injured when government forces’ fired live ammunition and pellets at the protesters.

Reports said that the forces had blocked all roads leading to Sugan village to limit the number of mourners gathering for funeral of Islam.

Witnesses said that clashes erupted soon after the forces resorted to aerial firing to chase away the people assembling in the village.

They said that forces fired live ammunition and pellets at the protesters, resulting in injuries to at least a dozen civilians.

Health officials said four injured were shifted to Sub District Hospital Zainapora. One had pellet injury in his eye while three others were hit by pellets on other parts of their bodies, reports said.

Five injured were brought to District Hospital Pulwama for treatment. “Two had firearm injuries in legs while a bullet had grazed the head of third one,” officials said, adding the trio was shifted to Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital for specialized treatment.

He said two others brought to the hospital had pellet injuries.

A woman identified as Shokhi also suffered injuries when she was allegedly hit by a forces’ vehicle during the clashes, the official said, adding she has been hospitalised.

Islam and his associate Shakeel Ahmad Dar were killed in an encounter with government forces in Katpora area of the neighbouring Kulgam district on Saturday.

Meanwhile, thousands of people took part in the last rites of Islam and Dar.

Five rounds of funeral prayers were held for Islam while four rounds were held for Dar in which thousands of people participated.

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen’s top leadership also paid tributes to Zeenat-ul-Islam and his associate.

In a statement issued to local a news agency here, Hizb’s operational spokesman Burhan-u-Din said that Hizb supreme commander Syed Salahudin paid tributes to Zeenat-ul-Islam.

He said Al Badr commander Zeenat-ul-Islam was a “brave freedom fighter and his martyrdom has conveyed a message to the outside world that Kashmiris would continue their freedom struggle till it reaches its logical conclusion.”

He added, “special prayers were held for Zeenat-ul-Islam and his associate.”

Mehbooba, Mirwaiz flay firing on mourners

Srinagar, Jan 13: Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the incident of “aerial firing” on mourners in Shopian might lead to “further anger and alienation” in Kashmir while Hurriyat-M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the “forces action is contrary to the human values”.

Responding to reports about the forces’ firing at mourners during the funeral of slain Al Badr commander Zeenat-ul-Islam at his native village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, Mehbooba said the “aerial firing” at Sugan Shopian to stop the people from participating in the slain militant’s funeral is very “unfortunate and disturbing”.

“Reports of aerial firing at Sugan Shopian to stop the crowd from participating in the funeral prayers of a local militant, are very unfortunate and disturbing. Such interference in the religious affairs is undesirable and may backfire leading to further anger and alienation,” she tweeted.

Condemning the firing on the mourners, Mirwaiz took to twitter and said the use of “brutal force” on the “martyr’s funeral” is “not only un-Islamic and undemocratic but contrary to the human values”.

Earlier today, at least eleven civilians were injured after the forces fired live ammunition and pellets at the protesters in the village.

Reports said that the forces had blocked all roads leading to Sugan village to limit the number of mourners gathering for funeral of Islam who was killed by the forces yesterday evening in Yaripora area of Kulgam.

Witnesses said that clashes erupted soon after the forces resorted to aerial firing to chase away the people assembling in the village.

They said that forces fired live ammunition and pellets at the protesters, resulting in injuries to at least eleven civilians.

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