Five unidentified militants killed by government forces in the Bandipora district were laid to rest at a martyr’s graveyard in Gantamulla in this north Kashmir district after their bodies were handed over to the local Auqaf Committee by Forces.
Gantamulla is one of such several graveyards among many in North Kashmir where Foreign Militants buried after performance of proper Islamic rites, however away from public gaze and only a few people are called in for the funeral prayers.
The graveyards have seen thousands of bodies of Slain Militants from as far as Afghanistan and Chechnya who were in Kashmir during the early 90s when an Armed insurgency challenging the Indian rule on Kashmir began, mostly Pakistani men crossed over and tried to help the locals carry forward the armed Movement.
Droves of young Pakistani men mingled with Kashmiris, wielding Kalashnikovs roamed the streets of Kashmir. Sounds of gunfire and explosions mixed with slogans of “Azaadi” “freedom” emanating from public rallies. Famous Kashmiri Author, Agha Shahid Ali pens down of the agony of that period: “Srinagar hunches like a wild cat; lonely sentries, wretched in bunkers on the city’s bridges, far from their homes in the plains, licensed to kill- while the Jhelum [river] flows under them, sometimes with a dismembered body.”
India that has controlled most of the Kashmir Valley for the past 70 years is predominantly Hindu and the valley is predominantly Muslim, as is Pakistan, which is seen as the reason by many for the arrival of foreign Militants from as far as Palestine, Chechnya.
These Militants have been laid to rest across graveyards in Kashmir including North and South Kashmir districts. Years ago, hundreds of militants came from across the border, in what India calls as “a proxy army” to wreak havoc in the Indian-controlled parts of Kashmir. But now, the resistance inside the Indian areas is overwhelmingly homegrown.
However Pakistani youth in large numbers still cross over, most of them get killed allegedly while crossing the Line of Control that divides india and Pakistan, the militants are though denied a public funeral, which lately has become concern for Indian Security agencies.
“We cannot allow vast public funerals that have become a norm after the vast funeral of Pakistani Militant, Abu Qasim, who was the commander of Lashkar e Taiba in Kashmir, his funeral was the starting point of it all,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.
Qasim who was killed in a 2015 encounter in South Kashmir was given a hero’s funeral, many villages in Kashmir fought to have his body buried in their village.
He said that we do not want to make heroes out of Pakistani Militants, ‘We do burn them in a proper Islamic way, but away from public gaze, Abu Dujana was also buried with proper Islamic rites even though he had killed so many officials.’
Late on Saturday night, all the unknown militants were laid to rest at the martyr’s graveyard in Gantamulla among hundreds of others some unknown, some very popular, though miles away from their natives in Pakistan.