Four families —two from South Kashmir’s Kulgam and Shopian districts, one from central Kashmir’s Kangan and another from Kupwara -- have approached Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Shahid Chowdery with claims that three out of the five militants killed Sumlar area in Bandipora district on last Friday were their sons.
Officials told Rising Kashmir that families of three militants Parvez Ahmed Tedwa alias Abu Mawiya of Kangan, Bilal Ahmad alias Abu Haider of Kulgam and Muhammad Umar from Shopian approached the DC Bandipora today and claimed that their kins were among five militants killed last week in Sumlar, Bandipora.
“Families met us. Their claim needs to be verified because bodies of militants have already been buried. The legal procedure for their identification will be followed by Deputy Commissioner Baramulla,” they said.
Bilal’s father said that they met Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, who informed officers in Baramulla about the issue.
“He assured us of help and called DC Baramulla to verify our claims,” said Bilal’s father.
He said his son (Bilal) went across the Line of Control in 2003.
“We came to know that he returned last week and was killed in Bandipora,” he said.
Similarly, a family from Hayan, Kangan also met DC Bandipora and claimed that one among the five militants killed in Bandipora last week was their son Parvez.
They told DC that they identified their son through pictures that have gone viral on social media.
Parvez had been missing since 2003.
Another family of Rang Warnow area of Kupwara also claimed that their kin Mohammad Sidiq Sountra alias Abu Usman killed in Sumlar Bandipora gunfight.
“We have also approached the police,” said family member of Sidiq.
He said Sidiq has joined militancy in early 1990s and on the photographic evidence “we came to know about his killing”
Earlier, Hizbul Mujahideen had claimed that the militants killed in Bandipora encounter were local militants hailing from Kupwara, Kangan, Kulgam, and Bandipora.
So far only three families have approached the district administration to claim bodies of their kins.
On September 22, army and police had claimed to have killed five militants during a two-day long encounter in Shokhbab Sumlar area.
The army was not sure about identities of the militants but had suspected them to be foreigners affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The bodies of the militants were buried at Bonar Baramulla.
The Bandipora town for the 5th consecutive day observed shutdown today against the killing of five militants.
All business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads. Most of the schools and banks remained closed.
A protest demonstration was organised by the traders. They were demanding bodies of deceased militants should be handed over to their families for proper burial.