Thousands of people Thursday participated in funeral procession and burial of Lashkar-e-Toiba’s divisional commander in Kashmir, Abu Qasim, who was gunned down by security forces in an encounter in Kulgam district on Thursday night. Qasim was buried in a local “martyrs” graveyard in Bugam village in the district. As per KNS correspondent from Kulgam, as soon the news of Qasim’s killing circulated on social media today morning, all roads in south Kashmir converged towards Kulgam. People from Shopian, Pulwama, Anantnag, Tral and Padgampora rushed to Kulgam to participate in the funeral. While the encounter was going on in Khandaypora village of Kulgam where Abu Qasim was killed, youth assembled near the spot, raised anti-India slogans and pelted stones towards police and army. The government forces reacted by firing aerial gunshots to disperse the protesters. Later, as security forces called off the encounter and handed over the slain militant’s s body to a local masjid Auqaf committee, thousands of people in a procession, chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, carried the body of Qasim to Ghanta Ghar in Kulgam chowk near Qazigund bus stand. The precisionists carried the body several kilometers from Kulgam to Bugam village, where it was laid to rest. Meanwhile, clashes broke out between youth and security forces at several places in the district, including Khandaypora, Ziyarat road, Khudwani, Frisal, Bugam, Khudwani, Redwani and in main Kulgam township. Eyewitnesses said police and CPRF were deployed in the town and they fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters. A simultaneous shutdown was observed in Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian districts against the killing of Qasim. Later, the funeral prayers were offered in the village, which was attended by several separatist activists.
2015 Kashmir Despatch