Hendew gunfight: Family of slain civilian contests police claim of militant links

Hendew gunfight: Family of slain civilian contests police claim of militant links

SHOPIAN: Family of the civilian killed in Hendew village on Thursday during a gunfight between militants and government forces have contested the police claim stating that their son was a simple farmer with no links to militancy.
Ishtiaq Ahmad Wani, 24, son of Abdul Dawood Wani, according to the family, was “arrested first and then killed in cold blood”.
“He went to the orchard and brought fodder from there. Then he went again to bring more but on way he was arrested by forces and was killed when they were about to leave the encounter site,” Dawood, father of slain youth said.
He said that Ishtiaq was married four years back and was the lone bread earner for the family including the elderly parents.
“My younger son is eight years old, besides I have a six-year old daughter. He (Ishtiaq) was only source of our livelihood, both for us, (elderly parents) and his minor children and wife,” he added while demanding justice for the son’s killing.
He said that on Thursday, Ishtiyaq had earlier been summoned by police.
“They (police) called me on phone and told me to send my son there and I did the same. On return, he went to orchard but didn’t come back,” he said.
Apart from Ishtiyaq, two militants belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were killed in the brief encounter after on Thursday evening.
A police statement said that the gunfight took place in an open space and questioned Ishtiyaq’s presence at the spot.
“There was already a case (FIR 252/2018) under 13, 39 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and 506 RPC and 7/27 Arms Act registered against him,” the statement said. “Further investigations are underway.”
Local sources said that Ishtiaq become the first civilian casualty of anti-militancy operations this year. At least 24 civilians were killed in 2018 in Shopian district in gunfights, protests and forces firing.
A complete shutdown was observed on Friday against Thursday’s militant and civilian killings in twin districts of southern Kashmir. Internet services were restored by Friday afternoon after remaining shut for hours.
Shops, schools, business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads.
Thousands of people bade farewell to slain militants and civilian.
Father of slain militant commander Zeenat-ul-Islam lead the funeral prayers for Yawar Ahmad Dar at Thokerpora (Bandapoh).