SHOPIAN: With thousands pouring in to mourn the killing of youths in Shopian villages, blood is all over the road at Pahnoo village near a Government High School here.
Locals say that three youth were brought down from the vehicle by army soldiers and killed in cold blood. They said another youth, possibly the lone witness of the killings of the three youth, was killed some distance away from the school.
Army on Sunday said the youths were over ground workers of militants. However, today they said the youths were civilians. “Police are investigating the role of four civilians killed during the exchange of fire between militants and army on Sunday evening at Pahnoo. No doubt they were civilians but police are investigating their role with militants,” army officials told media persons during a press conference at Balpora.
The 44 RR whose one company has recently established a camp at Pahnoo village was involved in Sunday’s firing.
Shahid Ahmad Khan, one among the deceased civilians who would have turned 18 today, was a student of class 12th.
“On Sunday morning his elder brother told him to submit his documents with a company where he had applied for a job in Shopian town. He left his native village, Malik Gund in Imamsahib area, at around 11:30 a.m. and returned home in the afternoon at around 4 p.m. He had handed over the documents to his sister and left to play cricket. However, from 7 p.m onwards I found his phone switched off. At around 9 p.m we got information that someone from our village too has been killed. At midnight I was handed over the body of my son,” said Bashir Ahmad Khan, 70, as he stood besides the coffin of his son.
Khan said that his son had bullet marks in abdomen and neck and blood was oozing through the wounds. “We don’t know what exactly happened, but it seems that my son was shot from point blank range,” Khan said.
Suhail Khaleel Wagay, 19, of Pinjoora village was a higher secondary part II student and was also helping family in fruit business. His father was in Delhi along with his two brothers.
His mother Fareeda Begum with moist eyes was seen kissing his son and paying him adieu while his friends were wailing. “Oh Shahid please come back. Who will play cricket with us now,” his friends Sheikh Adil and Obaid screamed.
Shahid is survived by two elder brothers and a sister. His elder brother is an MBA pass out.
SuhailKhaleelWagay, 19, of Pinjoora village was a higher secondary part II student and was also helping family in fruit business. His father was in Delhi along with his two brothers.
The family is doing fruit business and one of his brothers Bilal, an MBA, is working in a multinational company in Delhi. “We were in Delhi for more than a month as I had to go for medical check-up too. Suhail and his brother stayed home along with their mother. He took away his car and went to drop his mother Misra Begum at her sister’s place in neighbouringPahalipora village at around 2:30 p.m. After dropping his mother he took our worker who also happens to be his friend Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay, 24, along with him to cold storage unit at Lasipora. At 5 p.m he called his mother and told her he will pick her up on her return. In the evening at around 7 p.m when her sister called him, he told her he will be there in 10 minutes. Then her sister kept on calling him repeatedly but her calls went unanswered till 11 p.m when it finally went off,” says his father Khaleel Ahmad Wagay, an orchardist.
He said that his son had bullet injuries in abdomen and chest and it was apparent that he was shot at from a very close range. “We were scheduled to fly home on Tuesday but as we got to learn about killing of Suhail, we booked the tickets and boarded the flight early morning at 7 a.m,” said Wagay.
The family of Shanawaz, a labourer and small time grocer by profession of LangandoraTrenz village, say that he left home at around 2 p.m, only to return dead.
“He had gone for medical checkup at SMHS Hospital Srinagar and returned at around 2 p.m,” said his uncle Nazir Ahmad.
He said that he later left home saying he will visit his aunt’s place at Mispora village. “At 7:30 p.m we gave him a call and he told us he will be home in a while,” Nazir said adding later their calls went unanswered before it went off late night. “He had sustained bullet injuries in head and leg.”
Shanawaz’s father Ali MuhamadWagay, a small time farmer, was in a state of shock and did not utter a single word while his mother Zareefa was wailing in the make shift tent put for the mourners. The women were seen consoling her but to no avail.
Besides parents Shahnawaz is survived by elder brother Farooq Ahmad.
The locals allege that when they were on way to their respective homes they were brought down from the Swift vehicle and killed in cold blood near Pahnoo. “There was not much blood inside the vehicle. All the blood was on the road,” locals said. Police took the swift vehicle along.
They also refuted the army claim that militants attacked their vehicle. “The army had already laid an ambush near high school and soon we heard gun shots,” locals told Greater Kashmir.
Another person whose body was found around 300 meters from the spot in his Wagon-R car is stated to be the lone witness. Gowhar Ahmad Lone of MooliChitragam village of Imamsahib area who studied M PED at Nagpur, also runs a fertilizer shop at his native village.
The locals said that Gowhar didn’t move ahead as he heard the gunshots. “He was killed outside his vehicle and later again put in the vehicle and kept at the steering as was evident from blood stains on the road,” locals said.
“We spotted his body in the morning and later informed his family and his native villagers. The body was taken by the villagers along with the vehicle,” they said.
They said that army men in order to make it look like cross firing had fired a volley of bullets on the car.
The car was seen parked in the lawn of the neighbours of Gowhar at Moolichitragam when this reporter visited the village with bullet marks all over.
Though the broken glass pieces of smashed window panes were lying inside the car but there was no bullet mark inside it. “He was carrying two phones including an I-Phone besides a wallet, but locals didn’t find it after they spotted his body,” his family said. “He had gone to Shopian town for his business work.“
“He left home in the morning and at around 6:30 p.m he called us to inform that he got little busy and will be home after an hour,” said his father Abdul Rashid Lone.
Lone said that later when they called on his phone again it was switched off. Gowhar had undergone schooling from Army School Balpora and had recently finished MPEd from a university in Nagpur. “They killed my son in cold blood and now are trying to portray it as a cross firing incident,” Lone said.
Courtesy: Greater Kashmir