A partner in the ruling coalition, the Congress, on Sunday condemned the killing of four youths in south Kashmir's Shopian district by security forces.
"I strongly condemn the unfortunate incident in which security forces killed four youths in Shopian. It is a deplorable act and is highly painful," said J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief Saifuddin Soz.
Four motorbike-borne youths were fired upon by security forces in the Gagran area of Shopian. The police said two youths were carrying weapons and were anti-national elements. Locals, however, claim that all the killed youths were locals and have no connection with militancy.
The Congress party, which is ruling National Conference's coalition partner, has demanded that the government should "share the verified facts with the people of Jammu and Kashmir".
JKLF chief Yasin Malik, who was arrested on Saturday evening when he organised a sit-in against the killings, said, "Locals said the killed youth were innocent. However, a section of the media is portraying them as militants. This innocent killing will yield the rulers nothing but shame."