KV Correspondent

Thousands bid adieu to Sabzar

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Thousands of people today participated in the funeral prayers of slain militant commander, Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, and his associate, Faizan Muzafar, across Kashmir.

People from far off places poured in at Rathusuna to pay tributes to top Hizbul Mujahideen commander as people reached Tral to attended Sabzar’s funeral.

According to eye-witnesses a militant surfaced at the funeral and led a sloganeering session at the funeral. Sabzar and his colleague Faizan Muzzafar were killed in an encounter with forces in Saimu village on Saturday morning. Sabzar was laid to rest in his native village Rathsuna.

Residents of Ajas village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Sunday offered funeral prayers in absentia for slain HM militants.  Witnesses said that hundreds of people offered funeral prayers in absentia for the slain militants in the lawns of central Jamia masjid following the afternoon prayers.

They said that two rounds of funeral prayers were held for the slain duo. Later, the residents held a peaceful protest rally and marched towards the martyrs’ garveyard Ajas amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.

Sabzar had turned to militancy in April 2015 after the killing of Khalid Muzaffar, the younger brother of slain militant Burhan Muzafar Wani. The killing of Muzaffar, who was a teenager, provoked Bhat, who lived in the same vicinity in Tral, to snatch a rifle from a paramilitary force personnel and flee to the woods to join the militant ranks. Bhat was Wani’s close confidante.

 Soon after joining the Hizbul, Bhat was elevated to higher ranks and became part of Wani’s core group that was responsible for its operations in the Kashmir Valley. He built up a network of “overground workers” and managed support for his outfit in the Valley. Photographs of a smiling Bhat hugging Wani or carrying him on his back were widely circulated and liked on social media by Kashmiris.  Hailing from Ruthsana village in Tral, he was an active militant for over two years. Categorized as an “A rank” militant by the police, he made public appearances in July last year during the funeral procession of Wani and at a protest rally in Kareemabad village in Pulwama during the unrest. Known to have been close to Wani, Bhat was seen crying at his funeral where lakhs of people had gathered. He and his fellow militants had also offered tributes at the funeral by firing in the air.

He was reportedly involved in a number of anti-state operations and was among the police’s “most wanted” militants list, carrying a bounty of Rs 10 lakh on his head. Apart from attacking security personnel, Bhat is believed to be responsible for the killings of several police informers in the Valley.

Before being gunned down on Saturday, Bhat had escaped the security forces’ dragnet many times. Last month’s security forces cordon on 20 villages in south Kashmir’s Shopian is believed to have been to nab Bhat, who was said to be hiding in the area. However, he managed to escape.

Bhat is understood not to have crossed the Line of Control to receive arms training. In stead, he was trained in the Tral forests itself by the Hizbul ranks.

Thousands also turned up at the funeral of HM militant Faizan Ahmed Bhat alias Umair at his native place at Darul Uloom road in Tral. Mourners drove in thousands to Tral to participate in the funeral and to have his last glimpse.

Thousands of people turned up at the funeral of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Faizan Ahmed Bhat alias Umair at his native place at Darul Uloom road in Tral.

Mourners drove in thousands to Tral to participate in the funeral and to have his last glimpse. Chairman J&K Liberation Front Mohammad Yasin Malik delivered a speech outside Faizan’s house in Darul Uloom campus, witnesses said.

Faizan (16) was buried next to Burhan’s grave in the Martyrs’ Graveyard at Eidgah Tral amid sobs and cries.

 “It was an emotional moment when Burhan’s father stood near Burhan’s grave to bid final adieu to Faizan,” said Abdul Samad, who participated in the funeral.

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Tral town, Awantipora and adjoining areas to mourn the death of the militants. Shops, schools and offices remained closed while traffic was off the roads.

Defying restrictions, people from Srinagar, Shopian, Pulwama, Islamabad and Kulgam started arriving in Tral soon after the news about Sabzar and Faizan’s killing broke out Saturday afternoon. By late night, Tral-Awantipora and Tral-Kaigam and Tral-Lariyar roads and streets were flooded by the people.

A large number of people assembled outside Sabzar and Faizan’s house by late evening even as local mosques were reverberating with pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans.

Faizan, before joining militant ranks, had snatched a service rifle from a CRPF man at the Bus Stand Tral. He, according to his relatives, was studying in class 10. He joined militancy in March 2017 soon after top Hizb commander Auqib Mulvi had been killed.

Faizan was the only son of his parents. He is survived by his parents and a sister. “He belongs to a poor family as his father is a labourer,” say his neighbors.

Chairman J&K Liberation Front Mohammad Yasin Malik delivered a speech outside Faizan’s house in Darul Uloom campus, witnesses said.

Faizan (16) was buried next to Burhan’s grave in the Martyrs’ Graveyard at Eidgah Tral amid sobs and cries.

 “It was an emotional moment when Burhan’s father stood near Burhan’s grave to bid final adieu to Faizan,” said Abdul Samad, who participated in the funeral.

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Tral town, Awantipora and adjoining areas to mourn the death of the militants. Shops, schools and offices remained closed while traffic was off the roads.

Defying restrictions, people from Srinagar, Shopian, Pulwama, Islamabad and Kulgam started arriving in Tral soon after the news about Sabzar and Faizan’s killing broke out Saturday afternoon. By late night, Tral-Awantipora and Tral-Kaigam and Tral-Lariyar roads and streets were flooded by the people.

A large number of people assembled outside Sabzar and Faizan’s house by late evening even as local mosques were reverberating with pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans.

Faizan, before joining militant ranks, had snatched a service rifle from a CRPF man at the Bus Stand Tral. He, according to his relatives, was studying in class 10. He joined militancy in March 2017 soon after top Hizb commander Auqib Mulvi had been killed.

Faizan was the only son of his parents. He is survived by his parents and a sister. “He belongs to a poor family as his father is a labourer,” say his neighbors.


KV Correspondent

Kashmir Correspondent cover all daily updates for the newspaper

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