Unending mourning in south Kashmir
He would have perhaps been preparing to launch his career today had he not quit in the final semester of his engineering degree in technology last July.
Instead, Musavir Hassan Wani, 23, was lowered into his grave Saturday in his native village of Dalipora amid anger and mourning.
An estimated 20 thousand people, including women defied a curfew in Pulwama and marched towards the village for a last glimpse of Wani and participated in his funeral. Many had traveled from other areas of south Kashmir.
Emotional scenes, now so regular and familiar in south Kashmir were repeated with women beating their chests and some showering sweets and flowers on Wani's body as it was taken in a procession to the graveyard.
"You are our star. May the informers who revealed your presence (to government forces) rot in hell," many women shouted as Wani's body wrapped in Pakistani flag passed by.
A GROUP OF MILITANTS ALSO SHOWED UP AT THE FUNERAL.
Villagers said government forces fired tear gas shells on the slain militant's funeral and only a few people were finally allowed to reach the graveyard for his burial.
However, superintendent of police for Pulwama, Mohammad Aslam denied teargas was used at the funeral procession.
"To maintain law and order we restricted the movement of people towards the slain militant's graveyard. We did not use any force on the people but we disallowed the procession towards the graveyard," Aslam told Greater Kashmir.
A large number of people had started gathering outside Wani's home Friday evening soon after news of his death during a gun battle with government forces spread in the area.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutes remained shut in the district and traffic was off the roads as a large number government forces were deployed since early in the morning blocking most arterial roads leading up to the slain militant's village.
Clashes still happened at several places between hundreds of angry stone throwing youth and police.
AT LEAST SIX WERE INJURED.
"Five people with pellet injuries were admitted here while one person with (teargas) shell injury has been referred to Srinagar for advanced treatment," medical superintendent Pulwama, Dr. Abdul Rashid Parra told Greater Kashmir.
Before joining militant ranks on July 14 last year Wani was a student of final semester B.Tech in a private engineering college in Chandigarh. He had signed up after the first death anniversary of Hizb commander BurhanWani.
According to his father, Wani was a religious boy who would often preach Islam to his friends and family.
"It was his cherished dream to attain martyrdom which he finally attained. I am sure that my beloved son will attain highest status in paradise," said Wani's father, Ghulam Hassan, adding that his son rarely talked about Kashmir and politics before taking up arms.