In a recap of the 1990s when militancy was at its peak, the slain Laskhar commander Abu Qasim was given a ‘gun salute’ by his fellow militants at his funeral in South Kashmir.
According to reports, when Qasim was being taken for cremation in Bugam village of Kulgam, four militants appeared and fired gun shots in the air.
“Militants fired shots in the air and honoured their commander. They also participated in the Nimaz-e- Jinaza of Qasim. This shows what Qasim meant for his fellow militants,” said a local.
Three districts of south Kashmir fought over the burial of Abu Qasim.
They were demanding that Qasim should be buried in their area. Each claimed that Qasim spent more time in their respective district.
However, he was buried in Bugam village of South Kashmir with thousands of people participating in his funeral. ‘Aazadi’ slogans were heard and intense clashes erupted during the incident.
A family in Khandaypora village in the same district claimed that Abu Qasim was actually a family member who went missing when he was 15-years old.
According to reports, the family, along with other people in Khandaypora, arrived at the graveyard at Bugam around noon when people were offering Friday prayers.
“We prevented them from exhuming the body,” locals said.
Police termed this claim fabricated and said that this is the outcome of a feud between the two villages who wanted to claim Qasim’s dead body.
“This is just ridiculous. He is Abu Qasim and LeT has owned him,” said a police official.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani said that this claim is part of the conspiracy to exhume the body of Qasim and create unnecessary law and order problem in the state.
In Kulgam town, thousands of people demonstrated against paramilitary forces and the government on Friday, accusing the forces of ransacking houses and breaking windshields of vehicles.
Victims reached the office of deputy commissioner with parts of the damaged vehicles and demanded compensation.
Deputy Commissioner Syed Abid tried to negotiate with the angry protesters and assured them of action against the people who damaged their property.
A committee was formed by him headed by Additional DC, Kulgam, to investigate the complaints and submit a report in the due course of time.
Meanwhile, the 67 youths who were protesting against the killing of Abu Qasim on Thursday in Shopian have been sent to three days’ judicial remand and shifted to Central Jail, Srinagar.
Altaf Khan, Shopian senior superintendent of police, said that the youths were trying to “enforce a strike and create law and order problem in the town”.