Two LeT terrorists, 4 others killed in Shopian; restrictions imposed

In retaliatory firing, one militant identified as Shahid Ahmad Dar S/o Mushtaq Ahmad Dar R/O Jamnagri, Shopian was killed and a weapon has been found with him.

Police said on Monday morning that bullet-ridden bodies of Ashiq Hussain Bhat, a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant and a civilian Gowhar Ahmed Lone of Chitragam village were found in the area.

Locals claim that all the four were innocent civilians but the army has alleged that they were actually accompanying the dead militants and were their overground workers.

"Militants travelling in a vehicle fired upon army personnel who retaliated by firing several shots, leading to a brief exchange of fire". "I have reasons to believe that Gowhar was shot dead by because he may have seen the other three civilians being killed and later his body was placed inside the vehicle to cover up the cold-blooded murder", he said, adding that Gowhar's iPhone is missing since the shooting.

Dozens of clashes involving stone-pelting erupted in Shopian as people came out on the streets to protest alleged civilian deaths in the south Kashmir district on Sunday evening.

"Situation is very tense here, " Ahmed said". The overnight killings have triggered a serious crisis across Kashmir.

"Deeply distressed by more deaths of civilians caught in crossfire in Shopian".

Kashmir plunged into widespread chaos on Monday as thousands clashed with security forces to protest the killing of four "civilians" that left the Army and J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sparring.

He said police has reached the spot and started legal formalities. The 4G internet services have been suspended across Kashmir as the speed has already been reduced to 2G.

Separatist conglomerate, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, have called for a valley-wide protest shutdown against the killing of three civilians and a militant during a gunfight in Shopian district on Sunday. Schools and offices remained shut, with the state government saying that educational institutions will remain close till March 7. In major parts of the Srinagar city as well as major towns and villages of the Valley, restriction have been imposed.

Malik along with his supporters tried to march from his Maisuma residence towards LalChowk. Under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, army and paramilitary officers can search homes and make arrests without warrants, shoot at people suspected of being separatists and blow up buildings or homes on suspicion that insurgents are using them.

  • Rosalie Stanley