Clashes rocked Srinagar today during the funeral procession of the militants killed in an overnight encounter in Budgam district this morning, official said. Several persons including a photo-journalist were injured in the clashes between protesters and law enforcing agencies in the Nowhatta area in downtown Srinagar. When the body of Sajid Ahmad Gilkar was handed over to his family for last rites at Malaratta, hundreds of people defied restrictions and took part in his funeral procession, officials said. They said the mourners attempted to offer 'Namaz-e- Janazah' (prayer before burial) at the Jamia Masjid, but were prevented by police which lead to clashes. The photo-journalist with a local daily was on duty when he received pellet injuries in head and arms. Later, the prayer for the slain militant was offered at a nearby stadium.
Gilkar was buried at his ancestral graveyard in the locality, the officials said. The clashes continued quite long, even as police used pellet guns and fired dozens of teargas shells to restore order, the officials said. Earlier in the day, clashes also took place between protesters and security forces during the funeral of another militant Aaqib Gul at Hyderpora chowk on the Srinagar-Airport road. Authorities imposed strict restrictions in five police station areas of the old city as a precautionary measure in an attempt to prevent violence. "Restrictions have been imposed in police station areas of Maharajgunj, Safakadal, Rainawari, Nowhatta and Khanyar as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order," a police official said. Gilkar and Gul, along with another associate Javaid Ahmad Shiekh of Beerwah were killed in an overnight gunbattle with security forces in Redbugh area of Budgam district this morning.
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