Families rebut claims victims, aged 16 to 22, were militants while ex-chief minister calls for investigation
Wani, a 42-year-old fruit merchant living in Below, a small village near Pulwama in the Indian region of Kashmir, had been driving home on Wednesday when he received a message from the police, requesting a photograph of his 16-year-old son, Athar Mushtaq. Mushtaq, a student, had left home the previous afternoon.
By the time Wani reached home, he was given the news that made his heart shatter. Mushtaq was dead, killed by the Indian army on Tuesday night. They claimed he was one of three militants who were part of Kashmir’s long-running insurgency and who were planning an attack on the region’s main city of Srinagar.
But Wani was confused and angry. His was certain his son was no militant.