Thousands gather to mourn the death of Zeenat Ul Islam in Kashmir; Photo feature

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Report and Photos by Kamran Yousuf

Srinagar: Thousands of mourners thronged the funeral of a top AlBadr commander, Zeenat ul Islam, shot dead by security forces in kulgam, 50 kilometres south of Srinagar.As the news of his death spread, clashes erupted in his native village as hundreds of residents hurled rocks at the security forces, who responded by using tear smoke shells and chilli bombs.

Street clashes were also witnessed in nearby villages as hundreds tried to vent their anger on roads. The street clashes continued for several hours till the bodies reached. On Monday morning the whole village was wrapped under a dense blanket of irritating and suffocating air.

A funeral procession for the slain militant turned violent after police used tear gas on mourners who responded by hurling rocks on the security forces. Several protestors received injures during clashes.

Zeenat was killed along with his associate in a brief gunfight with government forces at Kathpora Yaripora of Kulgam district. Considered as an Improvised explosive device (IED) expert, Islam joined militant ranks in 2015. He was now commander of Al Badr outfit.

A key recruiters Zeenat was one of three militants surviving from Army’s list of 12 most wanted militants.He was first arrested in 2008 for alleged connections with the militant outfits. He was 20 years old then. He was imprisoned for three years and released in 2011. Islam had three other siblings and his father is a farmer. Despite killing of several top commanders in the past two years, the valley has witnessed a surge in militant recruitment.

Young boys were present in abundance at the funeral procession

women participating in slooganeering at the funeral procession of Zeenat Ul Islaam

men climbed trees to have the last glimpse of the slained millitant.

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