Anantnag: Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Ayub Ahmad Lone alias Lelhari, at his ancestral village Lelhar in Pulwama district on Thursday.
Lone was killed in an ambush by government forces Wednesday evening in Banderpora area of Pulwama after a brief exchange of fire which also left a policeman injured.
People started assembling at Lone’s home in Lelhar soon after the news of his killing spread in the area. The funeral was held early Thursday morning.
“His body was draped in the Pakistan flag and dozens of other Pakistan flags adorned the ground where the funeral prayers were held,” a local source told Kashmir Reader.
The source said that the crowd chanted pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans soon after the funeral prayers were concluded.
Lone was buried at his ancestral graveyard in the village, locals told Kashmir Reader.
Soon after the burial, as people were returning to their homes, intense clashes erupted in Lelhar and adjoining Kakapora village and Samboora village near Pampore.
At least 8 people sustained minor injuries during the clashes. Witnesses told Kashmir Reader that one protester was hit by a teargas shell in his leg near Samboora bridge. He was rushed to Sub-District Hospital Pampore, where his condition was said to be stable.
Clashes continued for a while before forces were deployed in strength in the area and the movement of people restricted.
A complete shutdown was observed in main town Pulwama, Kakapora, Newa, Samboora, Pampore and several other areas of the district. All shops and business establishments, schools and colleges remained closed while traffic was off the roads.
Train services on the Banihal-Srinagar link remained suspended for the day.
Internet services, suspended soon after the encounter on Wednesday evening in Pulwama district, were yet to be restored when this report was filed.
The administration had put restrictions on movement of people in Kakapora town to prevent pro-militant demonstrations, reports said.