Valley reeling under heavy snowfall but thousands still attend militant’s funeral

What is more, soon after the prayers were over, people protested and raised pro-freedom slogans forcing the police and paramilitary forces to fire tear gas shells. The protest included men, women and children.

Valley reeling under heavy snowfall but thousands still attend militant’s funeral

It was heavily snowing in Sopore through the night.  The accumulation of more than a feet of snow had thrown life out of gear, forcing people to stay indoors. But when the body of the slain Al Badar  militant Muzaffar Ahmad Naiko  arrived, thousands of people poured out on the streets to join his funeral prayers.

What is more, soon after the prayers were over, people protested and raised pro-freedom slogans forcing the police and paramilitary forces to fire tear gas shells.  The protest included men, women and children.


Naiko alias Muza Molvi was killed in an early morning encounter at Machau in Budgam.   He  was one of the longest surviving militants in the Valley, with many a story of miraculous escapes behind him.

Naiko,  earlier a Lashker-i-Toiba militant, had fallen out with the outfit  and joined Al-Badar last year.  Lashkar had disowned Molvi accusing him of working for Indian agencies and extorting money.

In 2011, he was one of the militants allegedly responsible for the killing of the two sisters – Akhtar and Arifa - at Muslimpeer in Sopore.   The gunmen had raided the residence of Ghulam Nabi Lone. At least five to six masked gunmen cordoned off the three houses including the house of Lone. The gunmen started searching the houses and during this process, one of them climbed into Lone’s house and asked for his two daughters. Then they dragged them out and shot them dead at a distance of hundred metres from the house, accusing them of acting as informers for the security forces.

Naiko was a close associate of slain Lashkar-e-Toiba chief commander Abdullah Uni and had evaded capture since 2008.

Howerver, participation of a large number of people in his funeral has once again highlighted the huge popularity enjoyed by the militants  in Kashmir. As against this, the funerals of the mainstream  politicians and the police men attract a trickle of mourners.

Last year, the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s modest funeral at the family's ancestral graveyard at Bijbehara was a political embarrassment for the party.   More so, when thousands of people in the same area attended the funeral of an obscure militant killed during an encounter on the same day.