SRI NAGAR: Two youth were killed and three civilians, including a woman, injured after securitymen opened fire on people who were protesting against the alleged molestation of a student by Armymen in Jammu & Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Tuesday.
Local residents of Handwara, some 85 km north of Srinagar, took to the streets in the afternoon alleging that the girl was molested by Armymen when she entered a public washroom.
Chanting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, they attacked a military bunker with stones and set it on fire. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who was in New Delhi, condemned the killings and said the forces personnel involved in the firing would be handed exemplary punishment.
She said she had already taken up the issue with the Army’s Northern Command Chief, Lt Gen D S Hooda, who informed her that the Army had already ordered an inquiry into the incident. She also said the locals’ demand for shifting the bunker would be looked into. The deceased were identified as Mohammad Iqbal and Nayeem Qadir Bhat.
According to doctors, Iqbal had sustained bullet injuries in the head while Nayeem was hit by bullet in the abdomen. The injured were referred to different hospitals for treatment. The doctors have termed critical the condition of injured woman, identified as Raja Bagum.After the killings, the locals staged massive anti-Army protests and clashed with police and paramilitary personnel, who lobbed teargas shells and fired in the air to disperse the crowds.
Police said a criminal case had been registered in connection with the death of the youths, adding that theydeeply regretted the loss of the lives. The Kupwara Deputy Commissioner has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.