Shopian: Family of slain youth contest army claims  

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Army tells police about its version, bodies handed to legal heirs for last rites  

SRINAGR: The people and the family members of three youth on Sunday evening contested army claims that slain were Over Ground Workers of militants.

Mohammad Abbass, brother of one of the slain youth Sohail Ahmad Wagay (22), told news agencyGNS over phone that Sohail called him at 7:24pm. “He told me he has reached Pehlipora after dropping our mother where our sister resides,” he 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 OGWs,” he said and broke down. There was no further conversation as he was screaming.

Similarly, Bashir Ahmad, father of Shahid Khan (20) said that his son was a student of 12th class and not an OGW. “He left home at around 6:00pm for Masjid for prayers,” he said, adding, “It is nothing but a cold blooded murder.” Emotions got better of Bashir and he too started screams and there was no conversion also. Family of the other slain youth, Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay (23) of Moolu Trenz also contested the claim.

A police officer said that army in its version has stated that there was ambush and as vehicle (JK04D-7353) was asked to stop, there was fire which was retaliated, leading the killing of four persons travelling in it. The vehicle, swift belonged to Sohail Wagay.  The militant killed in the shootout has been identified as Mohammad Amir Malik son of Bashir Ahmad Malik of Harmain Shopian. Meanwhile, police after conducting legal-medical formalities handed over the bodies to the families for last rites. The protests were going on in the area.

A defence ministry spokesman a militant and three “OGWs” accompanying him, at Pahnoo village of Shopian were killed.

Army’s Srinagar based defence ministry spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia told news agency GNS that militants attacked army’s 44 RR party at Pahnoo village at around 20:00 hours.

The fire was retaliated triggering off a gunfight. In the exchange of gunfire, a militant was killed, the spokesman said.

“Body of the militant was recovered along with a weapon,” he said, adding, “Three OGWs accompanying the militant in a car were also found dead.” (GNS)