Where should Abu Qasim lie buried? Villagers clash in Kashmir
Several people in south Kashmir are coming forward to lay claim to the body of top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Qasim and demand his burial at their respective villages.
Police had to use force after a group of people from Khandaypora village of Kulgam district on Friday tried to exhume the Lashkar commander’s body who was buried in Bugam village of the district.
Qasim, a Pakistani national, was killed on Thursday after security forces launched an operation in Khandaypora village following information about his presence in the area.
Some locals of Bugam opposed the exhumation by Khandaypora villagers leading to verbal spar between the two groups. Some locals of Bugam had agreed to the exhumation after the people of Khandaypora argued that the militant commander had wished to be buried in their village near the grave of a local militant.
Eyewitnesses said that police lobbed tear-smoke smoke shells to prevent the people from exhuming the body, which resulted in clashes between the people and police.
Similarly, residents of Kakapora in Pulwama had also claimed the militant’s body.
Meanwhile, a family from Khandaypora has claimed that the slain Laskhar operations chief was actually a family member, Muhammad Yaqoob Hajam, who went missing when he was 15-years-old. The family also wanted his body to be handed over to them.
A police official said that LeT has already claimed that Abu Qasim was their member.
The officer said administration can’t allow the exhumation as there was an apprehension that it would lead to “law and order issues”.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police SJM Gilani termed it as “politics between two villages to stake a claim on the body”.