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'Police role in Handwara firing will be probed'

Policemen remove the barricades, put up by angry protesters during clashes which erupted after the killing of two youth at Handwara, in Srinagar.

Policemen remove the barricades, put up by angry protesters during clashes which erupted after the killing of two youth at Handwara, in Srinagar.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Kupwara Deputy Commissioner Kumar orders a magisterial inquiry into the incident, which left three civilians killed.

Besides the Army, the police’s role in the Handwara firing incident, which left three civilians killed, will be investigated.

Kupwara Deputy Commissioner Kumar Rajiv Ranjan, who has instituted a magisterial inquiry, said, “There are conflicting reports about who opened the fire. Some people say the police opened the fire and some say the army. It is a matter of investigation now.”

Relatives of Nayeem Ahmar, a college student, have alleged that they saw police personnel opening tear-smoke shells and firing at the protesters.

Initially, an FIR against the army, which regretted the killing on Tuesday, was lodged in the Handwara police station, 70 km north of Srinagar, in the killings.

Meanwhile, the Army has issued a statement in Srinagar with a video of the girl, who, according to locals, was misbehaved with by the security personnel, sparking protests. “In the video, the girl is denying any molestation by any army personnel at Handwara on 12 April 2016,” said the army spokesman.

The Army has verified the authenticity of the video and identity of the girl. “The girl says that she went to the nearby wash room along with her friend and suddenly a youth appeared before her and took her bag away. As per her statement in the video, the boy resisted her to come to nearby police station,” said the spokesman.

The authorities have imposed curfew in Handwara and Kupwara towns. Large parts of Srinagar were also placed under curfew-like restrictions. Most separatist leaders were either placed under house arrest or taken into preventive detention.

Violent protests continue to rock Handwara. Scores of smoke shells were fired to disperse protesters.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who has spoken to Union Defence Minister, said, “The Defence minister has assured me an inquiry and action against those who were involved (in the incident). The victim families too will be compensated. We will ensure such incidents do not take place in the future,” said Ms. Mufti.

The killings have thrown up a major law and order challenge before Ms Mufti, who only took over as first female Chief Minister of J&K on April 4.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 3:07:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/police-role-in-handwara-firing-will-be-probed-says-kupwara-deputy-commissioner/article8471178.ece

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