Indian army says it killed rebels but victims’ families say the three young men were innocent and murdered in another case of ‘staged gunfight’.
“This is clearly a fake encounter,” said Irfan Ahmad Lone, the brother of one of the victims, Zubair Ahmad Lone, who worked as a mason in the Shopian district after leaving school.
Irfan claims his brother had lunch at home on Tuesday afternoon hours before the gunfight began in Srinagar, about 65km away, which takes about an hour by car.
“I want to ask the army, how did my brother become a militant within hours? Where did he get weapons and join militancy? Where did he get himself trained in hours?” Irfan, who, along with another brother, serves in the police department, told Al Jazeera.