Three gun salute in militant funeral shakes up security setup in valley

Jammu and Kashmir News

SRINAGAR, June 19:   In a gunfight on Friday in North Kashmir’s Sopore, two Hizb militants were killed by the armed forces.

It was during their funeral that some masked, heavily armed militants appeared in for the procession and gave a “3-volley salute” to their slain colleagues. The gun salute was followed by anti-Indian slogans by the the mourners. It seems that militants want to legitimize their activities through such acts, which are actually performed at military and police funerals. There presence has put the security agencies on tenterhooks.

The militants however, managed to disappear after the huge funeral. It is for the first time that the militants have given a gun salute to their colleagues.

Earlier during the day,  Army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles, Special Operations Group of J&K Police, and CRPF personnel had jointly killed two militants in a gunfight.
But after the incident, it has become clear that more militants are still active in the area. Security forces have been saying that around 200 militants are still active in Kashmir, out of which one-third are foreigners and the rest being locals.

Over the past two years, the town of Sopore has witnessed a rise in militancy related incidents whereas the entire stretch of Sopore-Palhalan-Pattan has emerged as the “circuit active in militancy”. A similar circuit is active in Kulgam-Tral-Shopian stretch in the south of the Valley.

In the wake of the gun salute reports, the intelligence network has been intensified and are trying to ascertain their whereabouts.

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