Pain deepens as Kashmir awaits bodies of martyrs

TNN Bureau. Updated: 2/13/2018 1:39:28 AM Front Page


SRINAGAR: The grieved families of the four soldiers who were killed in the Sunjwan attack are waiting for the bodies of their loved ones even as the villagers are in grief. Army officials said that the bodies could not be flown to Srinagar from Jammu airport due to bad weather and the snowfall that began from early Monday morning.
PRO Defense Col Rajesh Kalia said that due to bad weather the bodies of the slain soldiers could not be flown to Srinagar.
"Since the weather was bad due to snowfall, the bodies of the martyred soldiers could not be flown to Srinagar. As soon as the weather improves and flights can take off, the bodies will be flown to Srinagar and then to their respective homes," Col Kalia told The News Now.
The Srinagar-Jammu Highway, too, was closed today morning after the heavy snowfall. No vehicle was allowed to ply on the highway.
Five soldiers, four from Kashmir, were killed in the attack after JeM fidayeen stormed the 36 brigade of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry camp in Jammu. Three militants were killed in the counter attack by security forces; also 11 others, including soldiers and family members of the soldiers were injured in the attack.
Subedar Mohammad Ashraf Mir of Maidanpora, Lolab and Havaldar Habibullah Qureshi of Batapora Hyhama are from Kupwara district; Lance Naik Mohammmad Iqbal Sheikh is from Reshipora, Pinglish in Tral area of Pulwama district, while Lance Naik Manzoor Ahmed is from Kulgam district.
A civilian, who was the father of Lance Naik Mohammmad Iqbal Sheikh, was also killed in the attack that lasted two days.
In Reshipora hamlet in Pinglish, neighbours and relatives had gathered near the house of slain Iqbal Sheikh waiting for his and his father's body for last burial.
"We have been coming and going into the house of Iqbal. We eagerly wait for the two bodies to arrive so that we can give them a decent burial," the neighbours of late Iqbal told The News Now in Reshipora hamlet.
Iqbal Sheikh is survived by his wife, one and a half year old son, brother and old mother. Iqbal's wife, son and father were living with him in family quarters in the Sunjwan camp.
The neighbours said that they have not informed her mother, who is a heart patient, about the killing of his son. His brother had gone to Srinagar to receive the bodies of Iqbal and father. Mediapersons were not allowed into the house of Iqbal.
"We have told Iqbal's mother that he has been injured in the attack," the grief-stricken neighbours said, while snow was falling in Tral area.
Similar situation was witnessed in Maidanpora, Lolab and Batapora Hyhama of Kupwara where neighbours and relatives were waiting for the bodies of the slain soldiers.
The neighbours and relatives have been coming and going into the houses in these villages to console the wailing relatives.
Ghulam Mohidin Mir, father of Subedar Mohammad Ashraf Mir, said that his son was the only bread-earner of his family.
"Innocent people are getting killed everyday, which should happen. India and Pakistan should talk to each other to resolve the issue," Mir told reporters outside his home.

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