Amid protests and clashes, people in South Kashmir’s Pampar town Monday mourned the death of two foreign militants who were killed after they attacked the house of a ruling National Conference youth leader on Sunday.
A complete shutdown was observed in Pampar and adjoining areas including Konabal, Wuyen and Androosa to mourn the death of the two militants with shops and other commercial establishments remaining closed throughout the day.
Amid shutdown and protests, thousands of people waited on roads to participate in the funeral procession of the slain Lashkar-e-Toiba militants. However, police had shifted their bodies to Srinagar’s Panthachowk civil hospital for DNA profiling.
“People assembled in groups and were shouting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans throughout the day,” witnesses said.
“We shifted the bodies of two militants to Panthachowk for DNA test. Once the formality would be completed, bodies would be handed over to people for last rites,” a top police official said earlier in the day.
As there was delay in handing over the bodies, protests broke out between groups of youth and government forces in Pampar town. Witnesses said forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the youth.
The delay was also caused as residents of two villages in Khrew, where two militants and two policemen were killed during the attack, demanded the bodies of the slain duo. The demand from two different villages had put police in a fix, sources said.
Witnesses said residents of Khrew and Androosa villages almost came to blows in the afternoon over issue of who should be given the bodies of the two slain militants Abdullah Gori and Abu Zarr of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
“Both the villages demanded the bodies of the duo and this led to a dispute between them,” a police official who wished not to be named said.
He said police tried to evolve a consensus. A local told Kashmir Dispatch that the atmosphere was highly charged and handing over the bodies to one of the villages could have escalate protests that were going on since morning.
Amid pro freedom slogans groups of people assembled on the roads and demanded the bodies of two militants who were killed after they attacked the house of Shoiab Masudi in Bapur.
The attack on Sunday was the first in Kashmir during Indian elections being held over five weeks, though it was in an area scheduled to vote in two weeks.
The town, in South Kashmir’s Pulwon district, remained under huge government forces deployment, other witnesses said.
A militant outfit Al-Shohada Brigade claimed the responsibility of the attack. Two policemen, head constable Abdul Hamid and constable Vinod Kumar, were also killed in the attack.
Masudi escaped unhurt.
On Monday, police and paramilitary forces were deployed in huge numbers in the area and barricades were erected on Khrew-Pampar road to thwart protests.
Eyewitnesses said scores of people took to streets at Khrew main square and Drangabal and clashed with the police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force troops who were deployed in mammoth numbers.
Eyewitnesses said that at least 4 persons including two paramilitary troopers were injured during the clashes.
The bodies of the slain duo were handed over to the residents of Androosa village when the report was filed. Thousands of people raising pro freedom and anti India slogans took their bodies and marched in a procession.
The duo would be buried in a local ‘martyrs graveyard’, a kilometre away from the house of NC leader they had attacked, a local said.