Pulwama: Thousands of people assembled in Wagad village of Tral on Tuesday to participate in the funeral of a local Hizb militant who was killed in a grenade explosion inside Tral police station.
Police said that Mushtaq Ahmad Chopan, a Hizb militant from Wagad, was trying to escape from the police station, where he was in police custody since Januray 1, when a grenade hurled by his associates to help him escape exploded near him.
“He died in the grenade explosion. He was also carrying a pistol, which was found on him when he was being taken for autopsy,” police had said on Monday.
The family of Mushtaq as well as locals termed his death as a case of custodial killing. “How did he get a burqa and a pistol inside the police station? And how was he able to leave the lock-up and run towards the main gate, that, too, wearing a burqa?” asked a family member.
Police say they have started an inquiry into the incident. “We are looking into all angles, including the fact that he had a pistol in his possession,” Director General of Police, SP Vaid, told Kashmir Reader on Monday.
Protests erupted in Tral on Monday afternoon soon after news of the local militant’s killing spread.
His body was handed over to the family late Monday evening. Mushtaq was not buried on Monday and announcements were made that the funeral will be held Tuesday morning.
Despite restrictions imposed by authorities in the area, thousands of people poured in to attend the funeral prayers. Local sources said that all roads leading to Wagad had been sealed by government forces but that did not prevent people from thronging the village.
Four rounds of funeral prayers were held for the slain before he was buried at his ancestral graveyard.
People shouted pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans and flags of Pakistan were hoisted at the funeral ground.
Mushtaq’s body was also wrapped in the Pakistan flag.
There were no clashes reported anywhere in Tral area.