A body of another civilian was found in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shupian this morning after the forces engaged with militants on Sunday night taking the death toll to five.
Official sources said body of Gowhar Ahmad Lone, 24, was found some 250 meters from the spot where three civilians and a militant were killed.
Gowhar, a resident of Trenz in the southern district, they said was found dead on the wheels of a vehicle which army suspected was ferrying the lone militant, Amir Ahmed Malik, killed in the firing.
Lone, who was pursuing M.P.Ed at Nagpur University in Maharashtra, had received four bullets.
Locals have rejected army’s claims that the slain youths were over ground workers of the militants and said the four unarmed youth were killed in cold blood.
There were protests throughout the night in the district even as authorities suspended internet services.
Besides the militant, three civilian Suhail Ahmad Wagay, 22, from Pinjora, Shahid Khan, 21, of Malik Gund and Shahnawaz Wagay, 23, from Trenz were confirmed dead while Gowhar’s body was found early Monday morning.
Pertinently, a defence ministry spokesman had said a militant and three ‘over ground workers’ accompanying him, were killed during an attack at Pahnoo village in the district.
Army’s Srinagar based defence ministry spokesman Col Rajesh Kali said the militants attacked army’s 44 RR at around 8 PM on Sunday.
“The fire was retaliated triggering off a gunfight. In the exchange of gunfire, a militant was killed,” the spokesman had said.
Meanwhile, a shutdown is being observed across Kashmir to protest the killing of four unarmed youths.
Mohammad Abbass, brother of one of the slain youth Suhail Ahmad Wagay said over phone that his slain brother had called him at 7:24pm. “He told me he has reached Pehlipora after dropping our mother where our sister resides,” Abbas said.
“After about half an hour, we heard the shocking news about his killing with two other youth. The army is lying that he or two other youth were militant aides,” he said and broke down.
Similarly, Bashir Ahmad, father of Shahid Khan, said that his son was a student of 12th class and had no association with militants. “He left home at around 6:00 PM for for prayers,” he said, adding, “It is nothing but a cold blooded murder.”