Militant, 3 civilians killed in Shopian gunfight; Army claims they were OGWs

Srinagar, Mar 04: A militant and three civilians were killed in a ‘gunfight’ in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday evening. Army, however, claimed that the slain civilians were Over the Ground Workers (OGWs).
The army issued two statements in the evening. At 8:30 PM, half an hour after the encounter, as per army, took place, their spokesman said: “A joint Mobile Vehicle Check Post near Pohan (Shopian) was fired upon by militants at 2000hrs (8PM). In retaliatory operation, one militant was neutralised. Operation in progress.”
At the same time, the photo of the slain militant also went viral in which one could easily see the army men surrounding his body.
However, later at 9:40 PM, another statement from the army spokesman read: “A joint Mobile Vehicle Check Post near Pohan (Shopian) was fired upon by militants at 2000hrs (8 PM) from a vehicle. 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. Also the three OGWs/ accomplices in the car who were accompanying the militant were found to be dead.”
It was not confirmed why army, who had killed the militant more than an hour ago, could not confirm about the rest of the deaths in their first press statement if all of them happened in the vehicle.
Reports contesting the claim of the army said the three killed in the incident were civilians and not associated with any militant ranks. Police, as per sources, reached the spot and had started legal formalities.
DC Shopian Mohammad Aijaz refused to comment on the killings while the concerned SSP Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar was not available for his comments.
The three civilians killed in the incident were identified as Suhail Khalil Wagay of Pinjoora, Mohammad Shahid Khan of Malikgund, and Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay of Trenz.
Meanwhile, soon after, the joint Hurriyat leadership called for a valley-wide shut-down on Monday against the civilian killings.

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