Three persons were killed in Shopian area of south Kashmir on Saturday, with CRPF claiming they were militants who attacked a camp and the local residents maintaining the deceased were stunt bikers shot dead in unprovoked firing.
The deaths have occurred hours ahead of the Zubin Mehta concert in capital Srinagar, about 42 km from Shopian, and a parallel concert being organised by the civil society groups in the capital city. Hundreds of dignitaries including foreigners are present in Srinagar for the concert.
Both the concerts are happening amid a strike called by separatist groups, who believe the Zubin Mehta concert is aimed at painting a rosy picture of the situation in Kashmir.
Inspector general of police, CRPF, Nalin Prabat, said the militants attacked a security post of the CRPF camp with automatic weapons and tried to run away from the spot on a motorcycle.
"The fired at the bunker of CRPF Battalion 14 in Shopian, but the alert jawans retialiated killing all of them," he said. Nalin said that some arms and ammunition has been recovered from the dead militants.
However, sources in Jammu and Kashmir Police, while confirming the deaths, said they were ascertaining the identity of the dead people and were awaiting details of the incident.
Local residents in Shopian, however, allege the dead were stunt bikers who were killed in unprovoked firing by the CRPF jawans. Protests have erupted in the area over the killings.