SRINAGAR (AFP) An Indian soldier and three freedom fighters have been killed in a two-day gunbattle in Indian-held Kashmir, police said Monday. A police spokesman claimed the slain fighters belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba. Security forces engaged the three fighters in Rajouri on Saturday and the encounter only ended in the early hours of Monday morning. Meanwhile, a Kashmiri policeman who flung a shoe at Indian-held Kashmirs chief minister Omar Abdullah was hailed as a hero Monday, with thousands of people descending on his home village to congratulate his family. Every major Indian newspaper ran front page photos of Abdul Ahad Jans shoe sailing over Abdullahs head, as the minister spoke at an Indian independence day event Sunday in Srinagar. The improvised missile failed to find its target and Jan, who had chanted We want freedom and waved a black flag - a symbol of Kashmiri struggle - was quickly overpowered by bodyguards. The incident was captured live on television and prompted several thousand people to descend on Jans home village of Ajas, about 40 kilometres north of Srinagar. Witnesses said women showered flowers on Jans wife, Bega Jan, and kissed and hugged her, while others beat drums outside her home and the crowd chanted Long live Ahad Jan. What he has done is unbelievable. He has done us proud. It was the manifestation of the anger that every Kashmiri harbours, Merhaj-u-Din, a contractor and part of the crowd at Ajas, told AFP by telephone. The celebrations, which had a distinctly anti-India complexion, began on Sunday and continued through the night and into Monday. Jan remains in custody, and police officials were quick to issue a statement questioning his mental state. He is mentally unsound and is facing charges in a criminal case. He has already been suspended for his criminal activities, the statement said. Jans family rubbished the police version. He is mentally fit. But he was disturbed by the recent killings of civilians. He has always resisted injustice, said Azad Jan, his relative. Jans name was also on the lips of supporters in Srinagar. I salute his courage for throwing a shoe at a person responsible for killing over 50 people. Ahad Jan is our hero, said Abdul Majid, a shopkeeper. His picture should be on currency notes once we are free, he said.