Srinagar, Mar 5: With the recovery of two more bodies on Monday morning, the death toll in last night’s encounter in south Kashmir district of Shopian, has risen to six, including two Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) militants.
Army claim that besides a militant, three others were Over Ground Workers (OGWs) while police said investigation of the case has been taken up.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), consisting of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik had called for a general strike Monday.
Official sources said that that body of civilian Gowhar Ahmad Lone, resident of Moolu, Shopian, was recovered about 800 feet from the site of encounter at Pahnoo last night.
A police spokesman said that body of a militant identified as Ashiq Hussain Bhat, resident of Kapran was recovered at Saidpora under police station Harpora, Shopian Monday. He said the slain militant was missing since November 13, 2017.
Spokesman said preliminary investigation suggest that Bhat also died in the Pahnoo Shopian incident. Further investigation has been initiated, he added.
A defence ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia in a statement said that a joint Mobile Vehicle Check Post (MVCP) was fired upon by militants from a vehicle at 2000 hrs on Sunday at Poohan, Shopian. He said in the retaliatory fire one militant was killed. He said one weapon was also recovered from the slain militant.
Col Kalia said three OGWs, who were accompanying the militant were found dead in the vehicle. Police reached the spot and started legal formalities.
A police spokesman said that on the basis of the docket received from the army it is learnt that the MVCP of army located near Pahnoo in Shopian was fired upon from a swift vehicle. The army retaliated in which a militant was killed and three individuals who were accompanying the militant in the vehicle also succumbed to their injuries.
Consequently the police reached on the spot and initiated medico-legal formalities and seized the weapon. Investigation of the case has been taken up. The bodies have been handed over to the legal heirs.
He said the identity of the militant has been ascertained as Amir Ahmed Malik son of Bashir Ahmed Malik resident of Harmeen belonging to banned LeT outfit. He was active since July 2017.
However, locals contested the Army claim and said all the three were civilians who are not involved in militancy.
The JRL had called for strike against the incident Monday, when all schools upto 8th classes were to reopen after winter vacation in the valley. However, high and higher secondary schools reopened last week after vacations.