‘Proud’ Father Asks People Not to Wail over Killing of Zeenat ul Islam; Associates Offer Gun Salute

SRINAGAR, JANUARY 13: Terming the killing of his son as “a moment of pride”, the father of slain Al Badr commander Zeenat ul Islam on Sunday told mourners at his native Sugan village of Shopian that “God willing we will achieve what my son had been striving for.”

Ghulam Hassan Shah, according to reports, told a mammoth gathering not to wail over the death of Islam who had recently joined Al Badr militant outfit. “…it was a moment of pride for him that my son died while fighting forces and returned home as a martyr.”

While Shah was addressing the tens of thousands of mourners who had reached Sugan after marching on foot through orchards, the associates of Islam surfaced in the funeral to pay tributes to their fallen comrade. They raised their kalshinkov and fired several rounds in the air to offer a gun salute to Islam.

An eye witness said that the forces were deployed in strength in the area and they had built barricades and blocked all roads leading to Sugan to prevent a huge funeral for Islam.

This triggered clashes between the mourners and the forces that left at least 11 protesters wounded. Several of them, hit by pellets and bullets, were referred to Srinagar for specialized treatment.

Islam (30), listed in police records as category A++ militant, carried a bounty of Rs 12.5 lakh on his head.

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