Lashkar militant at Pulwama protest rally? Police refuse to confirm

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Aug 01, 2016 10:57 IST
A soldier stands guard near a barricade during a curfew in downtown Srinagar. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

A video of a masked man with hundreds of people ringing him and shouting pro-Kashmiri freedom slogans at a rally in south Kashmir has created a stir with many identifying him as Abu Dujan, a top commander of Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Police refused to confirm the man’s identity but unconfirmed reports said many militants of the Hizbul mujahideen were also spotted at the rally in Pulwama district. Pakistani flags were waved and pro-militant slogans were allegedly raised at the rally.

“We are looking into the matter,” an official said.

The death of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani on July 8 sparked waves of violent protest in the Valley that have killed 50 and injured nearly 2,000 people.

The rally was organised following a call by separatists to pay tribute to Wani and other militants gunned down by the army.

Thousands of people visited the “Martyrs Graveyard ‘’ at Kareemabad village in Pulwama, 32 km from Srinagar,

Many top Hizbul militants, including Naseer Ahmad Pandit, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Afaq Janbaz and Abdul Rashid Bhat, belonged to this village.

Reports said banners eulogising the militants were put up across town and residents decorated the graveyard and erected food and water stalls for those visiting the area.

Read: It’s yesterday again: Kashmir’s old wounds need political healing

Authorities sealed the main town but people managed to reach the venue from different local link roads. Leaders of both moderate and hard-line factions of the Hurriyat Conference, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, remained under house arrest.

Meanwhile, separatist leader and JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik was shifted to Srinagar‘s Central Jail after remaining under police custody at the Kothibagh police station since July 8.

The Valley remained tense as curfew was re-imposed in many parts of south Kashmir and the old city in Srinagar.

Clashes continued in many parts of the Valley with at least 20 people injured in Srinagar on Sunday.

(With agency inputs)

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