In a first, 2 terrorists killed in J&K’s Kulgam test positive for Covid-19

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): Jammu and Kashmir police today said that the samples of two militants killed at Areh village of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district yesterday were sent for Covid-19 testing, the results of which came as positive today. It said the burials of slain militants will need extra care and handling from now.

This is for the first time that two slain militants have been tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement issued here, a police spokesman said that while carrying out the medico-legal formalities, the samples of two slain militants were taken and sent for Covid-19 test.

“Today, the test reports were received from Chest Diseases Hospital, Srinagar and both the slain militants were confirmed as coronavirus positive,” the spokesman said.

Pertinently, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure the safety of people from the inherent risk of contracting the infection, the burial of all the slain militants is being carried out at designated places – Handwara in Kupwara district and Baramulla district.

The police spokesman said that medico-legal formalities are strictly followed in respect of such slain militants which include post-mortem, DNA and Covid-19 tests.

As part of the extra care to be maintained with the bodies of slain militants, they would be handled through protective care ambulances and would be buried strictly as per Covid-19 protocol at Baramulla and Handwara, he said.

Police sources said that an advisory has been issued to all the policemen especially the parties that take part in counter-insurgency operations to follow the proper Covid-19 guidelines while dealing with the slain militants. This year so far, 120 militants have been killed and since the outbreak of pandemic in March, 70 militants were killed, most of them locals.

After the outbreak of the pandemic, police decided not to hand over bodies of local militants killed in encounters to their family members and instead ensure their “silent burial” either at Handwara or in Baramulla districts in presence of a magistrate and a few close family members.