Shopian killings: Locals demand removal of Puhnoo Army camp

Security personnel patrol a street during restrictions in Srinagar
Security personnel patrol a street during restrictions in Srinagar
Author

07 March, 2018

Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia had said on Sunday evening that a joint Mobile Vehicle Check Post (MVCP) near Pahnoo in Shopian was sacked upon by militants travelling in a vehicle at 8 pm.

The three killed were identified as Suhail Khaleel Wagay of Pinjoora, Muhammad Shahid Khan of Malikgundand, Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay of Trenz, all from Shopian district.

Earlier on Monday, the police claimed they recovered the body of another militant, identified as Lashkar's Ashiq Hussain Bhat, and another civilian, Gowhar Ahmad Lone of Chitragam, Shopian.

Local residents, however, said the three men killed at the spot were civilians and not overground workers. Two weapons have also been recovered from the dead terrorists, said state's director general of police SP Vaid.

But local residents alleged that this was the second time this year that civilians have been killed in army firing and the incident could spark unrest.

"The varying accounts from the Chief Minister and the security forces on the incident are unfortunate and further perpetuate the sense of disenchantment, distrust and alienation", said former chief minister Omar Abdullah.

The situation in Shopian, Budgam and Anantnag districts was stated to be tense as mobs pelted stones at security forces.

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The killings have triggered outrage in the Valley. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said they were "civilians caught in the crossfire".

Police fired tear gas when thousands defied a curfew in Occupied Kashmir and took to the streets Monday in protest at the killing by soldiers of six people including four alleged civilians. "Taking up arms or joining terrorism only lead to loss of life and nothing can be achieved", he said.

Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik termed the Shopian incident as "another example of brutal Indian aggression" in a joint statement and called on people to march to pay homage to the dead.

The 4G internet services were suspended across Kashmir, while all the examinations scheduled for the day were postponed.

Restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar, Pulwama and Shopian "as a precautionary measure".

Malik along with his supporters tried to march from his Maisuma residence towards LalChowk. The state government chose to close all schools and colleges across Kasmir till Wednesday in order to avoid a law and order situation in the Valley.


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