SRI NAGAR: In a change of strategy, the authorities in Jammu and Kashmir quietly buried bodies of the local militants killed in two separate encounters in south Kashmir’s Shopian district within a week instead of handing over the bodies to their family members.
On April 22, the police declared four militants dead in an encounter as “unidentified” and buried the bodies silently in a graveyard in Sonamarg area.
Similarly, two militants killed in a gunfight on April 17 were given the same treatment.
Such instances hint at a change in government policy on militant burials after a large number of people defied the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and social distancing and attended the funeral prayers.
Police had also registered an FIR against people for defying government orders and attending funeral prayers of the slain militant. Many people were also detained.
Thousands of people used to attend militant funerals in Kashmir and a study by J&K Police had found that militant funerals were fertile grounds for new recruitments in the Valley.
The number of coronavirus cases in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday climbed to 454 as 20 more people tested positive.