KULGAM: In a curious and bizarre twist, a controversy erupted in Bugam village here Friday after the killing of Lashkar commander, Abu Qasim a day earlier.
An attempt was made by a group of villagers to exhume the body of the slain militant killed in Khandypora village on Thursday morning. Police had identified him as high profile Lashkar commander Abdul Rehman alias Abu Qasim, a resident of Bahawalpur Pakistan.
Eyewitnesses said as the people were busy offering Friday prayers in Bugam area of the district, scores of people from Khandeypora village including the Hajam family that yesterday had lain claim over the body of Abu Qasim appeared there in vehicles and tried to exhume the body of the militant. Some locals objected to the act and within no time people assembled at the graveyard and stopped the Khandeyporas Hajam family from exhuming the body of the militant.
Eyewitnesses added that there was a scuffle between the two groups on the issue while the Hajam family continuously and persistently claimed that the slain militant lying in the grave was their son Muhammad Yaqoob who they said had crossed over to Pakistan for arms training several years back. After deliberations, the two bodies of local Auqaf Committees namely Auqaf Khankah and Auqaf Masjid Noor headed by Fayaz Ahmed and Gowhar Ahmed finally decided in favour of the Hajam family.
It was also reported by an eyewitness that as the people from Khandeypora started digging the grave, government forces personnel appeared there and prevented them from doing so. They said that police resorted to tear-smoking shelling forcing the people of Khandeypora to stop exhumation. Reports said that clashes broke out there with scores of youth pelting stones on the government forces.
When contacted , Superintendent of Police Kulgam, Mumtaz Ahmed said that people of Khandeypora and Bugam locked horns over the issue twice on Friday. Refuting the allegations that police resorted to tear-gas shelling, SP Kulgam said that some miscreants wanted to mislead the people over the issue adding that even the militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba owned Abu Qasim and confirmed his death, he said.
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