The town, which saw a long gun-battle between militants and security forces recently, remained shut for the sixth consecutive day on Thursday, and the curfew-like situation foiled the Hurriyat’s call for funeral service for the slain militants at a local mosque.
Shops – except for a few fruit-sellers – offices and business establishments were all shut when the HT visited the town on Thursday, and there was heavy security deployment near the central Jamia masjid, where the funeral prayers were supposed to be offered.
Three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed on Monday after a 50-hour-long battle at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building on the highway connecting Pampore and Srinagar.
Thursday was the fourth day after the death of the militants and the hardliner Hurriyat (G) faction called for funeral prayers in absentia for the militants, saying it was a “religious obligation to offer funeral prayers to any Muslim who dies or achieves martyrdom”.
Residents of Pampore told HT that security personnel, who came in large numbers in the morning to the town, disallowed the gathering of people to offer funeral prayers to the militants.
“For the first two days, people were protesting perhaps with an aspiration that they will rescue the militants. After the militants were killed the town is shut to mourn their death – the fourth day after a death is important in Islam, called chahrum,” said Mohammad Azim, 58, a ladies’ tailor.
“The residents of Pampore had demanded that they should be allowed to offer funeral prayers, but security personnel told us that if a gathering comes out, there could be law and order problems,” Azim added.
Speaking to HT, Hurriyat (G) spokesperson Ayaz Akbar said, “We had called for prayers but it was not allowed. Two of our leaders were picked up by the police from Pampore when they went to participate in the prayers and many other leaders are under house arrest.”
Superintendent of police Awantipora Mohammad Irshad confirmed the detention of Hurriyat leaders and added that “all is well in Pampore”.