Slain identified as two ex-engg students Syed Owais of Kokernag and EisaFazili of Srinagar
Although villagers recall hearing the sound of a few gun shots, the police said the three militants, one of whom might be a non-local, died in a shootout with the forces in the Hakoora village of Anantnag in the early hours of the morning.
Out of the three slain militants, one of them, Syed OwaisShafi, belonged to the Vailoo area of Kokernag, Anantnag, who had known EisaFazili for many years since both were students at Ghulam Shah Badshah University, in Rajouri.
While Fazili took to arms in August, Ovais joined him three months afterwards. “He (Ovais) had just passed out B. tech in Electronics and communication when he suddenly went missing from his home to join militancy,” said one of his relations. He said that Ovais was the youngest of the six siblings and his father, Syed Mohammad Shafi, was a retired Zonal Education Officer.
Altaf Ahmad Khan, the police head for Anantnag, said one of the three was apparently a non-local, “We have dispatched his body to police control room (PCR) Srinagar and his identity is being ascertained,” he said. He said the police has recovered automatic assault rifles, pistols, and hand grenades from the slain militants.
“It is pertinent to mention that among the killed militants, one was involved in a recent attack on a police guard post at Soura in which one police constable had been killed,” he added.
The slain policeman was guarding the house of a senior Hurriyat leader FazululHaq Qureshi. The attacker had also decamped with the rifle of the policeman. Following the killing Amaq News Agency with ties to ISIS had claimed that their followers had carried out the killing in Srinagar.
However, the Jammu and Kashmir police had said they were not sure about the authenticity of the claim and would look into it.
All shops and other businesses were closed across the town of Anantnag and in many areas of the town angry men took to streets and hurled rocks at the government forces. The clashes between the two went on for many hours and the police and the paramilitaries used tear gas and pellet guns to quell the protests. Many protestors were hurt and six were shot with pellets in the bodies.
Ovais, the slain militant, was given a tearful farewell in his native village by hundreds of people in back-to-back funerals that went on for many hours as mourners raised pro-freedom slogans. Like in Eisa’s funeral, the funeral of Ovais was also led by his father.
Like in Srinagar, the internet and schools and colleges were shut in all parts of the south in the Kashmir valley, and the train service was suspended, too.