“They were just students,” families of three killed in Kashmir deny Army version

Three youths were killed in Srinagar on Wednesday by Army and police, with the forces claiming that killed were terrorists planning a big strike along the Srinagar-Baramulla highway.

Soon after the incident families came forward claiming the three were innocent and had no militant links.

The killed include 25-year-old Aijaz Ahmad Ganai, 16-year-old Ather Mushtaq Wani and Aijaz Maqbool, 20.

“My grandson was a student. Why did you kill him?” Bashir Ahmad Ganai, grandfather of Aijaz Ahmad Ganai said at a protest by family members outside a police office.

“Athar had left home on Tuesday to fill in an academic form. He is just a student, not a militant,” Athar’s sister Rifat Wani said.

Muhammad Maqbool Ganaie, a head constable in Kashmir police and father of Aijaz Maqbool said that his son left home on Tuesday morning for Kashmir University.

“At 4.30pm Aijaz called his mother and told her that if they get late then they will stay in Srinagar. At 5pm, his phone was switched off,” Ganaie told reporters.

Ganaie added that his son was planning to take admission in a post-graduate course in Punjab University next year.

At a press briefing, General Officer Commanding (GoC) Kilo Force. H.S. Sahi, said, “We had been getting inputs about militant movement on the national highway. The operation was launched last evening after getting inputs that militants were inside a house close to the national highway. They were asked to surrender, however, they responded with firing and the operation was suspended for the night,” he said.

Politicians of PDP, NC and CPM on Wednesday said, “the killing of three persons in Hokersar area of Lawayapora in Srinagar needs a judicial probe as the families of the slain persons have refuted the allegations of the forces that they were militants.”