Two killed in firing in J&K, Army orders probe

Updated - November 17, 2021 05:08 am IST

Published - April 12, 2016 05:45 pm IST - Srinagar

Two youths were killed and three injured in army firing in Handwara on Tuesday during protests against an alleged molestation attempt. The shutdown called by the separatists against attacks on Kashmiri students also affected life in the Valley.

Protests erupted in Handwara, 70 km from Srinagar, after an army man allegedly “molested” a girl who was entering a public convenience.

“Protests were apparently sparked by the news of misbehaviour. Protesters tried to set a security picket afire. Later, two youths died in the firing. The matter will be investigated,” said Inspector-General of Police (Kashmir) S.J.M. Gillani. The victims were identified as Mohammad Iqbal and Nayeem Qadir Bhat, a college student. A woman, Raja Begum, was also injured in the incident and is in critical condition, according to the hospital sources. All the victims were hit by bullets above the waist.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called for “exemplary punishment against guilty personnel”. Ms. Mufti spoke to the GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Lt Gen D S Hooda on the issue. “Such tragic incidents have a huge negative impact on the efforts of the State Government and the political leadership aimed at consolidating the peace efforts.”

Srinagar-based army spokesman Colonel N. N. Joshi said, “The Army deeply regrets the unfortunate loss of life. The matter will be investigated and anybody found guilty will be dealt as per the law.” The Army has also ordered an inquiry. Kupwara Deputy Commissioner Kumar Rajiv Ranjan said a magisterial inquiry was ordered.

Separatist leaders Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have called a shutdown for Wednesday condemning the death of the two civilians. The National Conference and the Congress have also condemned the killings. Handwara MLA Sajad Lone has also demanded “an impartial investigation.”

Valley shuts down

Shops, schools, colleges, petrol pumps and private offices remained closed on Tuesday in the Valley against the “growing attacks on Kashmiri students” in the wake of the NIT controversy.

In Jammu, several students and their families protested against the “harassment of outstation students at the NIT.”

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