1 militant, 3 OGWs killed in south Kashmir encounter

JRL calls shutdown tomorrow against civilian killings in Shopian

Sporadic violence erupted in south Kashmir as the death toll in Sunday night's exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists in Shopian rose to six with the recovery of two more bodies on Monday.

Witnesses and reports said that the troops had opened fire on a vehicle near a military camp in Pahnoo area of the district, resulting in the death of the six persons.

Locals identified the deceased as Suhail Khalil Wagay, Muhammad Shahid Khan and Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay, all resident of Shopian district. The check post manned by army personnel was sacked upon after they signalled a vehicle to stop, a security official told news agency PTI.

They said that some protesters also marched towards the Mini Secretariat Shopian where they clashed with government forces. Demanding a probe in the incident, NC's official spokesperson said, "The Shopian killings can not be justified with an arbitrary, unproven pronouncement of the youth being OGWs. He was hit on the back but there was no bullet in the back of the vehicle seat". "No militant was accompanying them". Mohammad Abbas, the brother of slain youth Sohail, said he had called home 30 minutes before the shootout, saying he had reached Pehlipora after dropping his mother.

J&K Police chief Shesh Paul Vaid said police would investigate whether the slain youth had any linkage with the terrorists.

"The preliminary investigation suggests the death of the said militant a part of the chain of incident at Pahnoo Shopian", the police spokesperson said. The former was active since July 2017 and later was missing from 13.11.2017.

The gunfight took place around 8 pm on Sunday. The police said his identity too is being ascertained.

He said body of a civilian Gowhar Ahmed Lone of ChitragamShopian was also found near the incident site at PahnooShopian.

The various business communities of the valley also reacted to the killings.

Meanwhile, restrictions have been imposed in parts of Srinagar city to prevent separatist-called protests. Locals claimed internet service was snapped in the area.

The State Public Service Commission ordered the cancellation of Monday's civil services exams in the state. The schools were scheduled to reopen in the Valley on Monday after three months.

People thronged Kapran village of Shopian to participate in the funeral of Lashkar commander Ashiq Hussain Bhat. The militants then fired in the air to honour their dead colleague.

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