Srinagar Two militants killed in a gun battle with government forces in Khanmoh the previous night were laid to rest in their native villages on Thursday amid massive gatherings and pro-freedom slogans.
Their bodies had been recovered from debris of the four houses raised to rubble in heavy shelling by the forces.
The police said that the two slain militants were identified by their families as Rasiq Nabi Bhat of Tral and Shabir Ahmad Bhat of Awantipora.
The duo had joined militancy last year in March and August respectively, the police, quoting its own records, said.
Thousands of people waiting for their bodies at the native villages pro-freedom slogans and held several rounds of funeral prayers as the slain militant were laid to rest.
Clashes broke out at Saraf Kadal in Srinagar, Kadlabal in Pampore and at Awantipora, Padgampora bridge, Tral and Muran Chowk in Pulwama when groups of youth holding demonstrations against the killings ran into government forces.
The townships of Pulwama, Pampore, Awantipora and Tral went on a complete spontaneous shutdown over the killing of the militants.
Authorities had reduced internet speeds in Tral, Pampore and Awantipora the previous night. The railway suspended train service to South Kashmir for the day.
Out of the four houses destroyed in the fighting, two belonged to Ghulam Muhammad Bhat, the third to Muhammad Yusuf Bhat, and fourth to one Ghulam Mohiuddin, the police said.
The encounter in the Balhama area had broken out after a security guard was injured in a militant attack on a BJP leader in a Khanmoh area.
Officials had said that the militants had also tried to snatch rifles from the politicians security guards.
In a statement issued here on Thursday, a police spokesman said: Forces following leads, cordoned off a cluster of houses at Balhama, wherein the hiding militants fired upon the forces. During the initial firing, a CRPF personnel sustained bullet injuries and was shifted to 92 Base Hospital for treatment. He is stated to be stable.
In the encounter, two militants were killed and their bodies along with as many AK- rifles and other incriminating materials were recovered, the spokesman said.
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