After a deadly attack that resulted in the death of 18 army soldiers, bodies of the four militants who had initiated the attack were quietly buried in a graveyard adjacent to the garrison in Uri.
The decision to bury the militants in Uri was an aberration as bodies of foreign militants in north Kashmir are usually buried at Kitchama graveyard, which is 25 km from Uri town and has been set up exclusively for this purpose.
“They (the Army) called police officers and a group of eight-ten people from the town, and handed over the bodies for last rites. Army officers did not want the bodies to be taken out of the garrison till it was time for the burial,” a local, who did not wish to be named, told The Indian Express. “The bodies were handed over only after the search operation had concluded.”
As per the autopsy conducted on the four militants, it was concluded that all of them were in their mid-20s.
“Both the Army and the local civilian administration were apprehensive that if the bodies of the militants are taken out for post-mortem and last rites, a large crowd may gather. It can happen because people are curious,” another local said. “They were apprehensive that there could be a protest. Anything can happen once a crowd gathers. So nobody from the Army or the administration wanted to take any chances,” said a local.
According to some locals, members of the Uri bazaar committee, an Imam and few elders from the town were called to arrange the last rites. Those who were called were not allowed to see the faces of the militants. The militants were buried only after their bodies had been inspected by the National Investigation Agency.
“They took the bodies, offered jinaza (funeral prayers) and buried the bodies in a hurry,” a local said in a conversation with The Indian Express.
Uri, a small district that has been sombre ever since the attack witnessed two loud blasts on Monday morning. However, it was the Army detonating the leftover explosives. As the night fell, the town went resumed its silence, but many of them were still awake, anxious as to what if another attack were to take place any minute.