Srinagar: The three civilians killed in army firing at Shopian’s Pahnoo village on Sunday evening have been identified as Shahid Ahmad Khan, 19, resident of Malikgund village, an undergraduate student at government degree college Shopian; Suhail Khalil Wagay, 18, Class 12 student and resident of Pinjoora village; and Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay, 22, resident of Langandora village, a labourer.
Shahid Khan had in his family his mother and father, two elder brothers, and a younger sister. His body was wrapped in the Pakistan flag before it was buried at his native village of Malikgund.
Suhail Wagay has left behind his father, three elder brothers and two sisters. He belonged to an economically well-off family. Four rounds of funeral prayers were offered for Suhail by thousands of people before he was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard at Pinjoora. Villagers told Kashmir Reader that two of his brothers and his father were outside Kashmir and the burial was delayed till they had returned. Family sources said that Suhail had gone to Langandora to drop Shahnawaz, one of the killed civilians, to his home. They said that Shahnawaz was working at Suhail’s home in Pinjoora for the past several years. Eyewitnesses said that an army helicopter made several rounds over Pinjoora when the funeral of Suhail was underway.
Shahnawaz was laid to rest at his native village of Langandora where thousands attended the funeral procession. Shahnawaz has left behind his parents, two younger sisters, and an elder brother. Family sources said that they were planning for Shahnawaz’s marriage. His body was wrapped in the Pakistan flag for burial.
The two militants killed in the Shopian encounter have been identified as Amir Ahmad Malik, 24, resident of Harmain village in Shopian. According to locals, he was active since July 2017 after leaving Kashmir University where he was studying for a Masters in History. He has left behind four sisters and two brothers. Tens of thousands attended his funeral prayers. Eyewitnesses said that an active militant of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Mushtaq Ahmad of Chek-Cholan, led the funeral prayers. They said that army disturbed the funeral prayers by firing several rounds in the air to disperse the mourners. Nevertheless, five rounds of funeral prayers were offered, attended by about 12 thousand mourners at Harmain. A university friend of Amir told Kashmir Reader that Amir was a brilliant student and active participant in pro-freedom rallies. He said that Amir took up arms by his own choice.
The second militant killed was Aashiq Hussain Bhat, 25, resident of Rakhpora village. He had been married for two years. Family sources said he was active since November 2017. They said that before joining militant ranks, he was working as salesman at a steel and cement shop in the Shopian market. A relative said that his younger brother is studying for a PhD in English literature at LPU Punjab. Aashiq had in his family his parents, a younger brother and a sister. He had studied till Class 12. Several militants from different outfits appeared at the funeral of Aashiq and offered a gun salute thrice. Eyewitnesses said that two helicopters hovered over the funeral ground to keep watch.
None of the top police officers in Shopian district answered phone calls from Kashmir Reader.