Srinagar: Slogans at the funeral of top militant Zeenat-ul-Islam were raised against Ex Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Shah Faesal. While many civilians were stopped from reaching the funeral procession by the armed forces by firing and injuring at least 10 civilians, thousands managed to reach Shopian, the native village of Islam.
After the father of militant Zeenat-ul-Islam while addressing the mourners gathered near the grave mentioned Shah Faisal and his resignation, followed by his ‘unfortunate’ joining (of electoral politics), the people in the graveyard shouted, “Nahi Chalegi, Nahi Chalegi, Shah Faesal ki Nahi Chalegi.”
Later, he also said, “We should not be sad, it is a moment of pride.”
Eyewitnesses told Free Press Kashmir that the forces had sealed all roads leading to Sugan village to limit the number of people participating in the funeral of Islam.
However, mourners continued to reach the village after making their way through bylanes, and crossing checkpoints though orchards and agricultural fields.
Islam was killed in a gunfight with armed forces in Katpora village of Yaripora in Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
Considered as an Improvised explosive device (IED) expert, Zeenat ul Islam, a native of Shopian’s volatile Sugan area had joined militant ranks in 2015. He was now commander of Al Badr outfit.
Shah Faesal, the IAS topper, had resigned citing ‘unabated killings and lack of political outreach from New Delhi’, and said that he won’t be joining any existing political setup in the state.
In his maiden press conference, Faesal had said that by resigning, he has put a small act of defiance to remind the government of India about their duties towards Kashmiris. “I am protesting against lack of credible political initiative by the central Govt. It is important that right to life of Kashmiri people is respected,” he said.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said that stopping the crowd to participate in the funeral prayer of a local militant was an interference in the religious affairs that would lead to further anger and alienation.
The statement by Mufti came in the aftermath of the funeral of militant Zeenat-ul-Islam where civilians were fired upon by the armed forces, resulting in injuries to at least 10 people.
Mufti wrote on Twitter, that such interference in religious affairs may backfire leading to further anger. “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,” she wrote.
Zeenat-ul-Islam, according to police, had a ‘long history of crime records since 2006’ when he got affiliated with Al-Badr and was later arrested. However after he was released, he again got in touch with Hizb in 2016 and recently he joined Al-Badr in Shopian.