Thousands Join Slain Militants Funeral

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Pulwama—Defying restrictions, thousands of people joined the funeral prayers of slain militant commander Muhammad Ayub of Lelhar in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

Ayub was killed in an ambush by armed forces in Baderpora village of Pulwama when he was travelling in a private passenger vehicle.

His killing had sparked violent protests in the district while authorities had imposed restrictions to stop people from joining his funeral prayers.

Eyewitnesses said braving restrictions tens of thousands of people reached Lelhar, Ayub’s ancestral.

Though the government forces had sealed entry and exit points of the village, but people took alternative routes including lanes and orchards to reach Lelhar.

Later Ayub was laid to rest amid intense pro-Azadi slogans.

Reports said that shortly after the culmination of last rites, clashes erupted between civilian protesters and armed forces in Kakapora area of Pulwama district.

Reports added that a protester was hit by a teargas shell near Samboora Bridge. The injured was shifted to SDH Pampore for treatment.

Paying tributes to slain commander Lashkar-e-Taiba said in a statement, that “Ayub took up arms in 2015 and retaliated against the Indian forces. “He took part in several fights against Indian forces and managed to get away with more than 5 rifles. His accomplishments and dedication promoted him from a comrade to Regional Commander. He sacrificed his life for the freedom of his people,” the statement said.

 

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