Mohammad Suhai/ Bilal Habib
Anantnag/Pulwama: A complete shutdown was observed across Pulwama district on Thursday to mourn the three local militants and the teenage boy killed in Tral the previous afternoon.
The killed militants belonged to the Zakir Musa group, which is said to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
Commercial establishments, schools, colleges and offices across Pulwama district remained closed the entire day. Traffic, though, plied normally in many areas of the district.
The funerals of two slain militants – Ishaq from Batgund, Tral, and Ashraf from Trich, Pulwama – and of the teenage boy, Muhammad Younis of Saimoh, Tral, were held late Wednesday evening. Thousands of people attended the funerals and raised pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans.
Two rounds of funeral prayers were held for Ishaq Ahmad at the ground of the local mosque at Batgund. Five rounds of funeral prayers were held for Mohammad Ashraf Dar at the local stadium in Bagh-i Trich, eyewitnesses told Kashmir Reader.
A few militants appeared at the funeral of Ishaq Ahmad Bhat and offered a gun salute to him. They raised pro-freedom, pro-Islam and pro-Pakistan slogans, local sources said.
After mobile phone services that were suspended in the area on Wednesday afternoon were restored late in the evening, more people poured into Nowdal area of Tral on Thursday morning for the funeral of the third slain militant, Zahid Bhat.
Multiple funeral prayers, as per sources, were offered for the slain militant before he was buried at Astan ground Nowdal.
Following the burial, intense clashes erupted in Nowdal and Batgund areas where youth clashed with government forces.
“Forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the protesting youth, who kept regrouping. The clashes intensified and continued for the most part of the day,” a local source told Kashmir Reader.
In Batgund, government forces allegedly entered some houses, thrashed the inmates, and vandalised property, sources said.
Hundreds of people from various areas of Tral and Pulwama thronged the homes of the slain militants and of the teenage boy, even though government troops had sealed all roads to Tral town.