Thousands of persons had assembled at Kareemabad graveyard in Pulwama district, 32 km from here, on a call given jointly by hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate faction head Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik.

Dozens of Pakistani flags were being waved at the rally as people raised slogans eulogising militants like Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin and Lashkar-e-Toiba's Kashmir chief Abu Dujana.

Videos of the rally, posted on social media, have gone viral showing people chanting pro-freedom slogans. Unconfirmed reports said some militants were present at the rally but police officials said they have not come across any evidence to support these claims.

"We are looking into the matter," an official said. Several top Hizb militants killed in recent anti-militancy operations including Naseer Ahmad Pandit, Bilal Ahmad Bhat, Afaq Janbaz and Abdul Rashid Bhat hailed from Kareemabad and adjoining areas.

Latest News from Jammu and Kashmir News Desk