Killed youngsters belonged to Hizb: Syed Salahuddin

The Hizbul Mujahideen has confirmed that the three youngsters whose bullet-riddled bodies found in the Baramullah district on Monday belonged to the outlawed militant outfit. It also accused police of killing them while they were in custody.

Killed youngsters belonged to Hizb - Syed Salahuddin“Amir Reshi, Ashiq Ahmad and Naveed were activists of Hizbul Mujahideen and had joined the outfit recently,” said outfit’s PoK-based head Syed Salahuddin told its members.

The bodies were found at an orchard in Pattan, 30 kilometres from Srinagar. They are also believed to bear signs of torture.

The discovery lead top clashes in the area, with residents pelting stones at security agencies, who deny having to do with the deaths.

According to a statement issued by Hizb’s spokesperson Saleem Hashmi, Salahuddin insisted they belonged to the outfit and not Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI), considered a breakaway faction of the outfit after its leader, Abdul Qayyum Najjar, is believed to have rebelled against Hizbul’s leadership.

Salahuddin, who is also the head of United Jehad Council (UJC) — an amalgam of various militant outfits — is quoted to have denied the such an outfit even existed.

“The trio were active members of the (Hizbul Mujahideen) outfit and were killed in custody,” the release said.

This comes hours after a police officer claimed the two — identified as Aamir Qadir Reshi of Sopore and Ashiq Wani of Lolipora in Pattan — were members of the militant Lashker-e-Islam.  Police also put down the killings as an outcome of a shootout between two militant outfits.

Meanwhile, parts of north Kashmir, including the places where the youngsters supposedly came from, were shutdown for the second day to protest the killings.

Hardline Hurriyat Conference and JKLF have also called for a general strike across Kashmir.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained by police at Tarzoo village while he was on his way to nearby Sopore to condole the youngsters’ deaths, a spokesman of organisation said. — PTI

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