This is the first time the State government has publicly condemned a Central paramilitary organisation

Omar Abdullah’s Cabinet on Friday condemned the firing on a demonstration at Dharam in Ramban district even as the Border Security Force camp was removed amid curfew, shutdown and clashes in Kashmir valley.

“The State Cabinet which met here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today condemned the excessive use of force in Gool area of District Ramban and extended condolences to the bereaved families and sympathies with those injured in the firing incident,” said an official release. It also announced ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh and a government job each to the bereaved families.

The four-and-a-half-year old coalition government, which has Congress as a principal constituent, has for the first time publicly condemned a Central paramilitary organisation for “excessive use of force.” Earlier on Friday, the BSF camp involved in firing and resultant death of the four civilians was removed from Dharam.

Superintendent of Police Javed Iqbal Matoo confirmed to The Hindu that the paramilitary formation guarding a railway tunnel had been shifted. “The camp has been vacated and occupied by the District Police and the Armed Police,” Mr. Matoo said over phone from Gool. He said the funeral of all the four civilians was performed peacefully. There was no disturbance around the funeral though some groups of people staged peaceful demonstrations at a few places in Gool area. “However, entire Ramban district is peaceful. We have not imposed curfew anywhere,” he added.

Sources said Special DG of BSF Dilip Trivedi questioned the officers of BSF 76 battalion at Chanderkot, about 10 km from Ramban on Srinagar Jammu National Highway. Mr. Trivedi is conducting an inquiry under the orders of the Union Home Ministry. Police have separately registered two FIRs and started the criminal investigation.

Clashes in Doda

Protesting the death of the civilians, Muslim-dominated towns in Chenab valley observed shutdown. Demonstrations turned violent at Doda where people shouted slogans and clashed with police. Fifteen demonstrators and five police personnel sustained injuries. However, the demonstrations at Batote, Gool, Sangaldan and other places remained peaceful.

Police enforced curfew in Srinagar and other major towns in Kashmir valley in apprehension of clashes after the Friday prayers.