Shahid was killed on eve of his 21st birthday

Srinagar, Mar 05: Families of the civilians killed in Shopian refute the army’s claim that they were over-ground workers.
Mohammad Shahid Khan, one of the four civilians killed on Sunday evening, was going to celebrate his 21st birthday on Monday.
As his native village, Malik Gund, mourned his death, his friend Eeshu Dar told The Kashmir Monitor that Shahid “had no links with militancy, whatsoever”.
“He was like any other Kashmiri youngster,” he said. “We didn’t meet for a long time, but I know that Shahid could not be associated with the militants. He was a college student. I knew him really well. The news of his killing left me stunned.”
“It’s his birthday today (Monday), and I cannot even imagine the plight of his family.”
According to Shahid’s childhood friend, Shahid Ahmad, the deceased youth was one of the most loved ones among the villagers.
“When I first heard the news of Shahid’s death, I just couldn’t believe. He used to live in his own world, and had always maintained a good relation with everyone,” Bashir said.
“Army’s claim is a joke and unbelievable. Don’t we all know the truth?” he added.
Shahid’s father, Bashir Ahmad Khan, too contested the army’s version.
He told a local news agency GNS that Shahid had left home at 6 pm to attend prayers in the nearby mosque.
As per Bashir, his son’s killing “is nothing but a cold-blooded murder”.
Shahid was the youngest among the three brother, leaving behind his parents and a younger sister.
Three other locals were also killed in the incident, along with two militants identified as Amir Ahmad Malik and Ashiq Hussain Bhat of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The slain civilians include Sohail Khalil Wagay (22) of Pinjura and Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay (23) of Trenz.
On Monday morning, body of 24-year-old Gowhar Ahmad Lone of Chitragam was also recovered about 250 meters away from the shooting spot.
Suhail Khan, a friend of deceased Suhail Khalil Wagay, termed the killing of his friend “unbelievable”.
“I have my relatives in Pinjura and I knew Suhail really well. He was actually a fan of Indian cricket team,” Khan recalled.
Like Shahid, Suhail’s family, too, contested the army’s claims.
Mohammad Abbas, Suhail’s brother, told GNS that the deceased had called him at 7:24 in the evening, nearly half an hour before he was
killed.
“The army is lying that the deceased youths were over ground workers,” he said.
Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay, whose body was recovered on Monday morning, was, as per the media reports, pursuing higher studies at Nagpur University in Maharashtra.

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