Clashes amid shutdown in Pulwama as local family owns slain militant

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Srinagar: Government forces resorted to aerial firing in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district to disperse protesters who demanded the exhumation and return of the body of a local militant killed in Sumlar Bandipora a couple of days ago.

Reports said that Pulwama town and its adjacent areas including Kangan, Mitrigam, Drabgam, Rajpora observed a spontaneous shutdown after the news spread in the area that one among five militants killed in Sumlar Bandipora hails from Kangan village of the district.

The Kangan family that is camping in Bandipora has claimed that one among the five slain militants is their son, Abdul Rashid who had crossed the border 22 years ago.

Reports said that a large number of people took out a rally and tried to reach DDC office Pulwama with the demand that body of the local militant be handed over to the family.

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Reports added that some youth in the rally amid pro-freedom slogans pelted stones on government forces who retaliated with tear-smoke shells.

As the clashes intensified, forces fired rounds in air to disperse the protesters. The clashes sparked spontaneous shutdown in the town and its adjacent areas.

Meanwhile, a district official said that they are in touch with district administration Bandipora.

Yesterday, two families from south Kashmir’s Shopian and Kulgam and one from central Kashmir’s Kangan town had arrived in Bandipora with the claim that their sons are among the five militants killed in the recent gunfight at Sumlar.

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Authorities had claimed that all the five militants killed in the gunfight were non-locals and were buried in Sheri Baramulla.

However, Hizb Operational Spokesperson Burhanuddin said that those killed in the gunfight were locals. “It was a group comprising five members who got trapped in Sumlar area and were killed in the gunfight,” Burhanuddin said.

According to him, those killed in Sumlar gunfight were Hyder Ali from Brazul Kulgam, Muhammad Umar from Shopian, Muhammad Sidiq from Bandipora, Mawiya from Kangan and Usman from Lolab. (CNS)

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