The Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawah cancelled plans to hold funeral prayers on Tuesday for a terrorist who was purportedly involved in the attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri after the matter was reported in the Indian media.
Posters had appeared in Gujranwala town of Pakistan’s Punjab province that announced the LeT would hold “ghayabana namaz-e-janaza” (funeral prayers in absentia) for local resident Muhammad Anas alias Abu Siraqa, who was killed during the Uri attack.
The posters were the “first hard evidence for Indian allegations that the attacks were carried out by a Pakistan-based jihadist group”, The Indian Express reported. The posters invite people to join the prayers for Anas, described as a “lion-hearted holy warrior” who killed “177 Hindu soldiers”.
The posters, which bore the image of LeT founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, said the prayers would be held at Bada Nullah, near Girjakh, in Gujranwala.
After the matter was reported in the media, the JuD and LeT cancelled the prayers, at least two sources with knowledge of the matter told Hindustan Times. The decision to call off the prayers was made on Tuesday morning, one source said.
The posters and banners were also removed in Gujranwala, sources said.
Gujranwala reporter says JuD had scheduled a funeral prayer for Uri attacker, but canceled after @praveenswami story this morning.— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) October 25, 2016
Further reports posters for the event have been torn or taken down across the Ganda Naala neighbourhood where event was scheduled.— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) October 25, 2016
This is not the first time the LeT has held such prayers for a member who was killed in a cross-border attack. Soon after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the LeT and JuD had organised similar prayers in Okara district of Punjab province for the nine attackers who died in the assault on India’s financial capital.
The event was hastily called off after the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers threatened it would take action against anyone involved in organizing such prayers. At the time, the Pakistan government had not acknowledged Ajmal Kasab – the only attacker captured alive in Mumbai – as its citizen. Kasab was subsequently convicted by an Indian court and executed.
The LeT has a presence in the Gujranwala region. In 2008, Afghan security agencies identified a suicide attacker who rammed an explosives-laden car into the Indian embassy in Kabul as LeT operative Hamza Shakoor, a resident of Gujranwala.
Soon after the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, the UN Security Council named the JuD as a front for the LeT. The US has offered a $10 million bounty for Hafiz Saeed but he lives openly in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.