Srinagar: PDP Leader and MLA Shopian Mohammad Yousuf Bhat Monday rebuffed the Army claim that the four civilians killed by them in Shopian were Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of militants and said that no circumstances can justify the civilian killings.
He expressed anguish over the loss of lives in and said that such incidents has the tendency to “vitiate peaceful atmosphere”.
“I have no words to condemn these civilian killings as mere condemnation, every time a civilian is killed is not enough and no circumstances can justify these civilian killings,”Bhat said in the statement.
He also said that the law enforcing agencies are “not learning any lessons from previous such experiences.”
“Such reckless killings have in the past inflamed the situation and if immediately such type of incidents are not stopped, there is apprehension that situation in the Valley may turn ugly again,” the statement quoted him as saying.
While expressing solidarity with the bereaved families, Bhat demanded that a judicial enquiry be ordered to look into the circumstances under which the killings have taken place and the culprits of this heinous crime are booked and brought to justice.
In a similar incident in January this year, three civilians were killed by the Army in Chaigund village of Shopian after the killing of two local militants. The police lodged an FIR against an Army Major involved in the killings. The family of the Army Major, however, approached the Supreme court against the police FIR.
An Army spokesman said on Sunday that three civilians were accompanying a Lashkar militant Amir Malik and all were killed in a brief shootout at Pahnoo, Shopian. On Monday morning, another dead body of a civilian was recovered from the spot. The locals, however, rejected the Army claim and said that the youth had no connection with the militant.
They identified the four civilians as Suhail Ahmad Wagay (22) son Khalid Ahmad Wagay of Pinjora, Shahid Khan (21) son of Bashir Khan of Malik Gund and Shahnawaz Wagay (23) son of Ali Mohammad of Moolu, Trenz and Gowhar Ahmad Lone (24) of Trenz. Another dead body of Lashkar militant Ashiq Ahmad was found in Saidapora village of Shopian on Monday morning, taking the death toll to six.