The event was under heavy security as a sparse crowd joined the final rites for the artist whose killing earlier this week sparked spontaneous protests in parts of the country leading to at least 80 other deaths.
Pictures on the national television show the funeral procession at a stadium in the singer’s hometown of Ambo, about 100km (62miles) west of the capital, Addis Ababa.
Meanwhile, there are reports of a deadly blast in the capital Addis Ababa with most people on Twitter citing local police. It will be the fourth blast in the last few days. Police confirmed three blasts during protests against Hachalu’s murder on Tuesday.
“Reports coming in of blast in the Ethiopian capital Addis. Possibly hand grenade. Scores killed,” Rashid Abdi, a researcher and analyst of the Horn of Africa tweeted.
A Reuters report also said police fired in the air to prevent mourners entering the Ambo stadium for the funeral. Members of the military, federal police and regional police were out in force, and two residents said police were firing in the air to deter mourners.
A live broadcast showed sparse numbers of people seated inside. One resident said large crowds had been turned away by police.
The slain singer’s wife, Santu Demisew Diro, gave a short speech after mourners laid wreaths. “Hachalu is not dead. He will remain in my heart and the ears of millions of Oromo people forever,” she said.
“I request a monument erected in his memory in Addis where his blood was spilt,” she added. Shimelis Abdissa, President of the Oromia region had earlier announced that a statue commemorating the deceased will be built in Addis Ababa.
The privately-owned Addis Standard reported that a relative dispelled talk of the family wanting him to be buried in the capital Addis Ababa.
Hundesa Bonssaa said “it was not our opinion. Why was this needed? His father, his mother, and his family wanted him to be laid to rest in Ambo. To blame this on the government is not correct. This is tantamount to burying Hachalu’s truth.”
Federal and regional officials were present at the funeral including Head of Oromia’s Bureau of Agricultural and Natural Resource, who laid a wreath on behalf of the regional state.