Militant among 4 killed in Kashmir shootout

Militant among 4 killed in Kashmir shootout

Militant among 4 killed in Kashmir shootout


A militant was among four persons killed in a brief shootout with army in Pahnoo area of south Kashmir's Shopian district on Sunday evening, the army said.

A defence spokesperson said the militants fired on a Mobile Vehicle Check Post (MVCP) of army's 44 Rashtriya Rifles at Pahnoo, 52 km from here, around 8 pm, from a car. The fire was retaliated, triggering a gunfight in which a militant and three over ground workers (OGWs) were killed, he said. An AK-rifle was recovered from the possession of the slain militant.

Residents of the area, however, contested army's claims saying three of the four killed were civilians and not associated with any militant outfit.

Police identified the slain militant as Shahid Dar of Jamnagri, Shopian, while the other three were identified as Suhail Wagay, Shahid Khan and Shahnawaz Wagay.

The latest incident comes more than a month after three civilians were killed after the army opened fire on protesters in the same district on January 27. Following the incident, an FIR was registered by J&K police against Major Aditya Kumar of 10-Garwal and his unit on murder (section 302) and attempt to murder (section 307) charges.

However, the Supreme Court put an interim stay on criminal proceedings against Major Aditya and directed the government that no coercive action be taken against him in the incident. The apex court order came in response to a petition filed by Major Aditya's father Lieutenant Colonel (R) Karamveer Singh, demanding that an FIR registered against his son be quashed.

The FIR has even divided the ruling coalition partners, the BJP and People's Democratic Party. The BJP demanded that the case against the army be withdrawn, while Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of PDP said that the case will be taken to a "logical conclusion."

Shopian, along with neighbouring Pulwama district, has emerged as the hub of new age militancy in Kashmir over the last two years. The heightened militancy is receiving ground support with the local people posing maximum resistance to the security forces, especially during counter-insurgency operations.