Amid heavy deployment of security forces and a shutdown in the Pulwama-Shopian belt of South Kashmir, 2,000-3,000 people attended the funeral of three slain Hizbul Mujahideen militants on Saturday.
The militants killed in the Shopian gunfight were identified as Asif Wani, Abdul Haq Malik and Shabir Gorsi.
Official sources told The Hindu that the people who participated in the funeral shouted pro-Azadi and pro-Pakistan slogans. At a few places they clashed with the police even as attempts to stage a big show were foiled by the police and paramilitary forces.
One AK-47 rifle, one pistol and an INSAS rifle, believed to have been looted from Rajpora in 2010 when a mob set a police station on fire and looted arms and ammunition, were recovered from the debris of the house where the militants were holed up.
DIG South Kashmir Vijay Kumar said the three militants were involved in a large number of terrorist attacks and their death could spell a major setback for militancy in South Kashmir.
He said Asif had kidnapped a village headman, Mohammad Shafi, in the presence of a number of residents and shot him dead.
Altaf and Asif had earlier killed Mohammad Shafi’s brother.
In 2012, Asif had also gunned down a constable on duty in Pulwama town.
Meanwhile, the bodies of Major Mukund Varadarajan and sepoy Vikram Singh, who died in the encounter, were being flown to their native places in Tamil Nadu and Haryana.