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Normalcy returns to Kashmir Valley after protests, shutdown over Shopian firing

Normalcy returns to Kashmir Valley after protests, shutdown over Shopian firing

He has been identified as Gowhar Ahmed Lone of Molu-Chitragam village of Shopian.

Lone, sources said, was found dead behind the wheel of his vehicle.

The second body was identified to be of LeT militant Ashiq Hussain Bhat, of Rakpora Kapran in the district. He had joined militancy past year. In fact, the Army men were fired upon from inside the vehicle.

On the night of March 4, security forces had killed a militant and three youths in a shootout after the mobile check post of the army was sacked upon. Also, the three OGWs/ accomplices in the auto who were accompanying the terrorist were found dead. Two suspected militants were slain in Sunday's shootout and, on Monday, a top operative from another militant group was killed in an encounter with police elsewhere in south Kashmir, authorities said. In the gunfight, one terrorist was hit and fell off.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the house of slain youth Suhail Khaleel Wagay who was killed in the Shopian firing incident. Shops and business establishments remained closed in Shopian while transport remained off the roads, a police official said.

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However, Col Kalia issued a detailed statement on the incident saying that two speeding vehicles were seen approaching the MVCP location from the direction of village Trenz on Sunday evening.

Commanding Officer, 44 RR, D S Negi, said the youths were accompanying a militant in two vehicles, which did not stop despite repeated orders. "But the militants fired at the troops from both the vehicles". He said a weapon and a pouch were found near the militant's body and three OGWs were also "found dead".

The army claimed recovering one AK-74, 3 magazines and 88 rounds from the dead militant. Later, we found that three persons in the vehicle had died. "They were definitely civilians and it is a matter of investigation as to what extent they were involved in supporting terrorists", said Brigadier Harbir Singh of 12 Sector Rashtriya Rifles (RR). On Monday morning, one more bullet-riddled body was found at the scene of occurrence.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that she was deeply distressed due to the civilian killings in Shopian.

Sporadic violence erupted in south Kashmir as the death toll in Sunday night's exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists in Shopian rose to six with the recovery of two more bodies on Monday. Mobile Internet services were suspended in South Kashmir, while its speed was reduced in Srinagar and other parts.


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