Kashmir remained on the edge on Saturday as bodies of three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including commander Junaid Matto, were recovered from the Arwani encounter site in south Kashmir. Scores of armed militants participated in their funerals.The bodies of the militants were spotted in the debris in the morning. “Junaid’s killing is a great achievement for us and a blow to LeT,” said Director General of Police (DGP) S.P. Vaid.According to the police, Junaid was a district commander and involved in a number of terror activities, including three attacks on policemen.The bodies of two others, Nasir Wani and Adil Mushtaq Mir, both locals in their twenties, were found in the debris of two civilian residential houses, where they were holed up. They had joined the militancy last year, said the police.“Arms and ammunition, including AK rifles, magazines and grenades, have been recovered from the Arwani site,” said the police.Hundreds of locals attended the funerals of the slain LeT militants as they were buried in their respective hometowns in Pampore, Shopian and Kulgam.Scores of armed militants were spotted at these funerals. Eyewitnesses said these militants offered gun salutes to the slain militants and were seen hugging their bodies as people jostled to catch glimpse of them on their mobile phones. Anti-India slogans raisedPeople raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans during the funerals.Top LeT commander Saddam Padder and his associates were also seen at the funeral of the slain Nasir Wani at Shopian’s Heff area. He was seen loading his AK-47 and open fire in the air as mourners ducked to stay safe. He raised anti-India and pro-Islam slogans before vanishing into the crowd.“India must pay for its crimes on humanity,” said LeT chief Mahmood Shah.Meanwhile, there were emotional scenes as two civilians hit by bullets were buried in their respective villages. The civilians were killed when the security force opened fire to disperse the locals who were converging on the encounter site.The separatists’ shutdown and the authorities’ restrictions impacted daily life in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday. Large deployments were made in all sensitive locations in Srinagar and parts of south Kashmir. Traffic remained off the roads and train services in south Kashmir were suspended.
A youth on Tuesday threw ink at Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwani Kumar Choubey when he was about to board his SUV after meeting dengue patients at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).The youth, Nishant Jha, however, managed to escape.“The ink was thrown on public, democracy and the pillar of democracy,” said Mr. Choubey. “I condemn this act done by some lumpen elements nursing political ambition… the ink was thrown at journalists also”, he said while coming out. His SUV and the bodyguard too had sprinkles of ink. Later, the youth told a private news channel that he belonged to the Jan Adhikar Party (Secular) of former MP from Madhepura Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav. “But, I threw ink at the Minister in my personal capacity as I was perturbed over the rising number of Dengue patients in the city and the government’s apathy to contain it”, he said.Mr. Yadav said later, “I have come from Delhi only this morning… and this incident should not be linked with my party as we do not know Nishant Jha. But this reflects the public outrage against the government”.After prolonged waterlogging in some areas of Patna from September 28 to October 6, the number of patients of dengue and gastro-enteritis had increased manifold at the government-run PMCH. On Monday, a seven-year-old died of dengue and several policemen at the policeline are said to be suffering from it. Sanjiv Chaurasia, a local BJP MLA, too is recuperating from the disease. The local civic and health department are engaged in fogging and sprinkling of bleaching powder to check spread of dengue but local residents said these were proving to be inadequate.