Saddam Padder, the top Hizbul Mujahideen Commander who was killed in a gunfight in Shopian on Sunday was buried in his hometown Heff, Shopian on Monday.
Eye witnesses said that the slain commander was buried after fifteen back to back funerals since Sunday. In an emotional outburst, according to eye witnesses, Padder’s mother, sister and brother gave a gun salute to the slain militant.
“Saddam’s mother, his sister and his brother offered him a gun salute using the rifle of an associate. It was a very emotional scene. The body of Bilal Molvi was also there when the gun salute was offered,” eye witnesses said.
Despite strict restrictions, people managed to reach the Heff area of Shopian from across the valley. Armed forces had even blocked the main road leading to Padder’s native village.
Moreover, a video which has gone viral on social media shows the armed forces firing directly at residential homes at Shopian. It is confirmed weather the firing took place before or after the gun fight.
Five militants were killed in a gunfight in Shopian on Sunday. In the clashes that followed, five civilians were killed by the armed forces. The slain militants included Hizb’s top commander Saddam Padder and Kashmir University’s missing Professor Dr. Mohammad Rafi Bhat. He had gone missing on Friday which had triggered protests in the university.
Over a dozen protesters have been injured during clashes near the encounter site.
In his last call to his family, Bhat told his father that he was ‘sorry if he has hurt them.’
Reacting over the killing of the professor, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said that his death is the answer to those who say that jobs is the solution to violence and alienation in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti while expressing anguish over the killings has said that gun, either way of a militant or that of security forces, is no solution for resolving issues. Upon the opening of the Durbar in Srinagar on Monday, Mehbooba said,“Allah has sent us to Earth to live a good life. Islam doesn’t permit us to embrace death at this [young] age.”
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for a shutdown against the continuous bloodshed in Kashmir. The leadership had also asked the people to march towards the civil secretariat and hold a peaceful sit there. Mirwaiz, in a bid to move towards the Civil Secretariat, tried to break his house arrest. However, he was detained by the police. Yasin Malik remains to be under preventive custody and Geelani continues to be under house arrest.