LeT militant, civilian found dead near gunfight site in J-K’s Shopian, death toll reaches 6

Hindustan Times, Srinagar | ByAshiq Hussain, Srinagar
Mar 05, 2018 12:19 PM IST

The killings, especially of civilian youths, have enraged locals. Separatist leaders have given a call for shutdown in the Valley on Monday.

Two bodies, including of a militant, were found near the site of a shooting in Kashmir’s Shopian district on Monday morning.

Security personnel patrol a street during restrictions in Srinagar.(PTI File Photo)
Security personnel patrol a street during restrictions in Srinagar.(PTI File Photo)

The body of Ashiq Hussain Bhat of Rakh Kapran and belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba was recovered from an orchard at Saidpora, eight kilometres from the site of Sunday night’s shooting in Pahnoo, Shopian, police said, adding that his death is suspected to be connected to the shooting.

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They also said that the body of Gowhar Ahmad Lone of Chitragam Shopian, was found with bullet injuries from a damaged car near the site of shooting at Pahnoo Shopian.

Police said they were investigating both the deaths. Witnesses told HT that the car Lone was found from was damaged on the front and right.

Security forces had killed a militant and three youths in a shootout on Sunday night after a mobile check post of the army was fired upon.

While the police have not identified the three youths killed on Sunday, locals identified them as Suhail Ahmad Wagay , Nawaz Ahmad Wagay and Shahid Khan.

The army called them “over-the-ground workers or accomplices” of the militants travelling in a Maruti Swift car, but locals said they were just civilians. A statement by police spokesman also referred to the three youths as “individuals”.

A relative of Suhail said the three were innocent and had nothing to do with militancy. “Suhail was a 22-year-old man doing fruit business of his family. His father and brother were in Delhi for business. Suhail had hired the services of the other two boys to help him transport fruit carts into the cold storage. He had called them overnight and was taking them home so that they could start work early next morning,” said Suhail’s relative, Fayaz Ahmad Mir.

Mir said that the three had bullet wounds in their backs. “No militant was accompanying them. He had called his family minutes before the shootout saying he was reaching home with the two boys.”

On the slain militant, the army’s identification differed from that of the police. While the army said he was Shahid Ahmad Dar, a resident of Jamnagri Shopian, the police spokesman identified him as Amir Ahmed Malik, a resident of Harmeen Shopian, belonging to banned LeT outfit and active since July 2017.

The killings have triggered outrage in the Valley. Separatist leaders called a shutdown on Monday while authorities imposed restrictions in sensitive areas to prevent escalations of protests.

The government has decided not to open schools on Monday which would otherwise have opened after the culmination of two-and-a-half months of winter vacation.

Kashmir University also postponed its examinations in view of concerns expressed by students.

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