J&K: FIR registered after locals defy Covid lockdown to attend militant’s funeral

Representational Image

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): Jammu and Kashmir Police has registered a case against those who took part in slain Jaish-e-Muhammad commander’s funeral at Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district for violating the Covid-19 guidelines that prohibit assembly of more than four people.

Police has registered an FIR number 70/2020 under section 188 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). Investigations are being done on fast track basis and according to police, many people who uploaded videos and pictures of funeral procession of slain militant, have already been identified.

Sopore police in a statement issued here said that it has started investigations and subsequent identification of those who participated in the funeral of slain Jaish commander at Saidpora area of Sopore in Baramulla district.

A senior police officer, privy to the investigations, told NVI that matter is being investigated on fast track basis. “We have identified some people who had uploaded videos and pictures of Jaish commander’s funeral on social media sites,” he said. “Those who took part in funeral of the militant commander didn’t only violate the Covid-19 guidelines but put hundreds of people to a risk of getting infected to the deadly pandemic.”

A source in the police said that once the identification of the people who participated in the funeral of Jaish commander Sajad Nawab Dar, would be over, those involved in the act will be arrested and action as per law will be initiated against them.

“So far it is an open FIR against all those who participated in Dar’s funeral,” he said. “The body of Dar was handed over to this family against a written assurance that they will maintain social distancing and there would be no crowd at the funeral. Yet, people assembled at the funeral without bothering they may catch Covid-19.”

On Wednesday, security forces had laid a siege in Arampora area of Sopore in Baramulla district after acting on a specific lead about the presence of militants in a residential house. The contact with the militant was made in the wee hours (yesterday) and in the exchange of fire, a Jaish commander Sajad Nawab Dar, who according to police was active since 2018 in the north Kashmir belt and was involved in luring youth into militancy, was killed. Dar’s funeral was attended by hundreds of people amid slogans as evident in the pictures making rounds on Facebook and Twitter.

After the killing of a young militant commander Burhan Wani in July 2016, attending militant funeral was a new craze in Kashmir that had forced the security grid to formulate a strategy to ensure no mass gatherings take place on the slain militants’ funeral. To a great extent, security forces succeeded over the past three years, but the funeral of Jaish commander has once again pushed the security grid of Kashmir into a huddle to ‘carve a joint strategy’ to ensure that no major gathering or a massive funeral process takes place if a local militant is killed.