Tens of thousands of people in attendance
Tens of thousands of people bid farewell to the five militants who were killed in a gunfight on Sunday, offering funeral prayers for them a total of 16 times in their native places in Kulgam and Anantnag districts since last night.
The multiple rounds of funeral prayers were held because people from entire Southern Kashmir kept streaming in and insisted on offering prayers before the burial.
Braving cold and snow-covered roads and paths, thousands of people thronged the five villages—Ashmuji, Zangalpora, Arwani, Mukdampora and Gopal Pora—home respectively to the deceased militants Waseem Bashir Rather, Aaqib Nazir, Idrees Bhat, Parvaiz Bhat and Zahid Parray.
Waseem was laid to rest on Sunday night itself. According to his wish, his brother led the last prayers for him.
Talking to reporters at his residence in Arwani, Idrees’s father said that his son (aged 17) was “born and died in war”.
"He was repeatedly harassed by the forces and was also detained under the PSA. He then joined militancy," he said.
All the five deceased militants were wrapped in Pakistani flags and laid to rest in local graveyards.
Some local pro-freedom leaders also participated in the funerals and addressed the gatherings.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Kulgam and Anantnag districts.
A large number of government forces were deployed in several areas since early morning to thwart pro-freedom protests.