PULWAMA: Despite Section 144 imposed in Pulwama to outlaw public assembly, thousands of people on Sunday gathered at one place to offer funeral prayers for slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander and army deserter Zahoor Ahmad Thoker at his native village Sirnoo in Pulwama district.
Eyewitnesses said that thousands of mourners including women and children shouted Azadi slogans and walked along in the funeral procession of the slain militant. Zahoor was laid to rest after 14 rounds of funeral prayers were held to accommodate the huge number of people.
The body of Zahoor Ahmad was kept at his parental house during the night. Locals sources told Kashmir Reader that although Zahoor could have been laid to rest on Saturday afternoon, many people had called his relatives to request postponing the burial, as they had to go offer funeral prayers for the seven civilians killed by government forces on Saturday.
“Most of the people wanted to participate in his funeral and insisted on delaying the burial till Sunday morning,” said a resident of Sirnoo village.
Eyewitness said that ten rounds funeral prayers were held on Saturday and another four on Sunday for Zahoor before he was buried at about 11am. The gathered people raised pro-freedom, pro-Islam, and anti-government slogans, witnesses said.
No untoward incident was reported during the funeral procession and people left Sirnoo village peacefully after offering condolences to Zahoor’s family.
Locals said that government forces had sealed all entry and exit points of Pulwama town and other areas of Pulwama district.
“Government forces were deployed in Pulwama town, Galander, Pampore, railway track Awantipora, and several other places. They had blocked all roads by parking on them their bunker vehicles,” witnesses said.
Deputy Commissioner Pulwama Ghulam Mohammad Dar said, “There were apprehensions of clashes between security forces and protesters, which is why we imposed restrictions in the town.” He added that the situation was under control.
Meanwhile, people of Pulwama appreciated the doctors and staff at the District Hospital for working tirelessly in treating the injured persons.
“We are very much thankful to the staff that provided the best facilities to the patients in a chaotic situation,” said the attendant of a patient admitted to the hospital.