Pulwama: Defying restrictions imposed by the district administration, thousands of people Friday participated in the funeral prayers of slain militants who were killed in an encounter that raged between forces and militants in Balhama area of Khonmoh on Thursday.
The encounter broke out after the militants fired upon the policemen guarding the BJP leader Anwar Khan.
Witnesses said that thousands of people started gathering in Nowdal Tral and Aghanzipora Awantipora, the native villages of slain militants Owais Ahmed and Shabir Ahmed respectively to participate in their last rites.
They said that the forces were deployed in every nook and corner to prevent people from taking part in funeral prayers of slain militants.
However, people managed to reach the place where the funeral prayers were held.
Locals said that thousands of people including men, women and children belonging to different parts of South Kashmir were seen visiting the homes of slain militants to pay homage to them.
In Awantipora, locals made a temporary bridge near Ziyarat Sharief Awantipora by keeping boats in sequence over Jhelum for the people so that they can easily reach slain militants home, a local told ‘Kashmir Vision’.
He said that emotional scenes were witnessed at the native village of Shabir after his body reached there.
People raised slogans while women were seen wailing and beating their chests.
Witnesses said that Pro-Zakir Moosa slogans were mostly raised during the funeral procession adding that pro-freedom, pro-militant and pro-Pakistan slogans were also raised while the Islamic Taranas were reverberating throughout the day on loudspeakers in locals Masjids of the area.
Locals said that after four back to back funeral prayers, the slain militant was laid to rest amid pro-Islam sloganeering.
The locals from Nowdal said that the slain Owais was laid to rest soon after his dead body reached Nowdal as his dead body charred beyond recognition.
They said that thousands of people participated in his funeral prayers.
Shabir Ahmad, resident of Awantipora said that he participated in the funeral prayers of both slain militants but their face was not shown to anybody as they were charred due to the fire that engulfed the building they were holed up in.
Father of slain militant, Shabir Ahmad said that “it is inhuman what forces did with the body of his son.”
Pertinently, Owais and Shabir were considered to be the close associates of Zakir moosa who founded Ansar Guzwat-ul-Hind in the Valley, an off shoot of Al Qaida and had joined militant ranks in March and August last year respectively.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in most parts of Pulwama district to mourn the death of slain militants.
All the shops and business establishments remained off in the area where as public traffic also remained off the roads.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted between government forces and protestors in Awantipora, Nowdal Tral, Murran Chowk Pulwama and many other areas.
Sources said that youth pelted stones on government force who retaliated with tear smoke shells.
They added that clashes continued in parts of Awantipora throughout the day.
In Ladermad Pulwama, forces restored to aerial firing after youth pelted stones on their vehicles, which were passing through the area.
Notably, authorities had also closed the colleges and schools of the district to avoid any law and order problem in the area.