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The people and the family members of three youth on Sunday evening contested army claims that slain were Over Ground Workers of militants.

Mohammad Abbass, the brother of one of the slain youth Sohail Ahmad Wagay (22), told news agency GNS over the phone that Sohail called him at 7:24 pm. “He toldme he has reached Pehlipora after dropping our mother where our sister resides,” he said.

“After about half an hour, we heard the shocking news about his killing with two otheryouth. The army is lying that he or two other youth were OGWs,” he said and broke down. There was no further conversation as he was screaming.

Similarly, Bashir Ahmad, fatherof Shahid Khan (20) said that his son was a student of 12th class and not an OGW. “He lefthome at around 6:00 pm for Masjid for prayers,” he said, adding, “It is nothing but a cold-blooded murder.” Emotions got better of Bashir and he too started screams and there was no conversion also. The family of the other slain youth, Shahnawaz AhmadWagay (23) of Moolu Trenz also contested the claim.

A police officer said that army in its version has stated that there was an ambush and as the vehicle (JK04D-7353) was asked to stop, there was the fire which was retaliated, leading the killing of four persons traveling in it. The vehicle, swift belonged to Sohail Wagay. The militant killed in the shootout has beenidentified as Mohammad Amir Malik son of Bashir Ahmad Malik of Harmain Shopian. Meanwhile, police after conducting legal-medical formalities handed over the bodies to the families for last rites. The protests were going on in the area.

A defence ministry spokesmana militant and three “OGWs” accompanying him, at Pahnoo village of Shopian were killed.

Army’s Srinagar based defence ministry spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said that militants attacked army’s 44 RR party at Pahnoo village at around 20:00 hours.

The fire was retaliated triggering off a gunfight. In theexchange of gunfire, a militant was killed, the spokesman said.“Body of the militant was recovered along with a weapon,” he said, adding, “Three OGWs accompanying the militant in a car were also found dead.”

News Reporter

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