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.
There Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists, involved in Friday’s attack on a police post here, have been arrested, police said in Srinagar on Sunday. “We have arrested three persons so far in connection with the Chanapora attack case,” senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Srinagar Haseeb Mughal told reporters in Srinagar. The SSP identified the arrested terrorists as Mushtaq, Junaid and Latief.Mr. Mughal said the three belonged to JeM and were involved in the attack on the Chanapora police post in which a sentry was injured. They had also made a failed attempt to snatch his rifle. “We collected the digital evidence and strengthened the intelligence grid after the attack. We focussed on the suspects already on our radar. We picked them up, questioned them and during questioning, one of them confessed and gave us further details about the group, he said. Giving details of the attack, the SSP said the three came to Chanapora on a motorcycle, but left it some distance away from the police post. One of them, named Junaid, went inside the police post with the excuse of tracking the status of passport verification. He checked the place and when he saw that the sentry there had no visible backup, he came out and told his accomplices that perhaps there is no backup for the sentry, so he (sentry) can be targeted. Then he came back to the post and was accompanied by another person named Mushtaq who was wearing a pheran and a helmet. When Mushtaq was asked to remove the pheran for undergoing search, he took out a pistol and fired on the sentry, the SSP said, adding the sentry was injured and is undergoing treatment at SKIMS Hospital at Soura. The senior police official said the terrorists also tried to snatch the rifle of the injured sentry but had to leave it because the gun was clamped with a chain to his belt. In the meantime, the other policemen fired and they fled from the spot, he said. He said police have recovered a Chinese pistol, two magazines and six live rounds from them. The motorcycle has also been recovered, he said, adding further investigations in the case were on.Mr. Mughal said Mushtaq, a postgraduate from Kashmir University, was in touch with a JeM cadre, named Sameer from Pulwama district of south Kashmir, and has been associated with the group for about a year. “Sameer and Mushtaq were classmates in KU. It was on Sameer’s direction that they tried to loot weapons in Srinagar, he said. Junaid, the SSP said, was involved in a number of stone-pelting cases, while Lateef is an overground worker (OGW) of the militants and helped them with logistics. He said the three were arrested from different places in Budgam district in cental Kashmir.