Thousands participate in funerals of militants

Thousands participate in funerals of militants

Colleagues offer gun salute

Thousands of people Saturday participated in the multiple funerals of slain Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Junaid Matoo and his two associates, Nisar Wani and Adil Mir, who were killed in an encounter with government forces at Arwani Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday.

Militants also appeared in the funerals of their slain colleagues and offered gun salutes as a mark of respect. The 22-year-old Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Junaid was laid to rest at his native village at Khudwani- Qaimoh in Kulgam district in presence of thousands of mourners.  At least 12 back to back funerals were offered for the slain militant even as his colleagues appeared and offered gun salute to him.

The body of Junaid was recovered from the debris of the house in Arwani by government forces last night. His body was later handed over to his family for last rites. Since early morning people from Kulgam, Anantnag and other south Kashmir areas thronged the local Eidgah to have a last glimpse of Junaid.

Women were seen wailing even as dozens among them fell unconscious during the funeral. Five gun wielding militants made a sudden appearance and fired gun shots in air as mark of respect to the slain commander, a witness said.

Soon after the body of another slain militant Nasir Wani reached his native village Heff in Shopian district, thousands of people including men, women and children braved curbs and reached his home town amid pro freedom protests, a witness said. 

He said the body of the slain militant was taken to a vast walnut orchard and kept on a platform. His militant colleagues also offered a gun salute to Nasir.

Despite restrictions, mourners rushed to Frestbal area of Pampore in Pulwama district to participate in the funeral of slain militant Adil Mir and to have his last glimpse, a witness said.

He said two funeral prayers were held at a playground in Frestbal, which also saw the participation of some militants, including commander Zakir Musa, a witness said.