SRINAGAR: The rising civilian casualties during security forces’ operations against militants continue to be a big worry for the Jammu and Kashmir government. Despite the police and the Army repeatedly cautioning people not to venture near encounter sites, there have been a number of civilian deaths in firing by security forces this year. Three deaths have been reported this month alone.
The government is worried as every such incident causes a setback to the efforts to restore normalcy in the Valley.
On Tuesday, Ruby Jan alias Beauty Jan, a 24-year-old mother, died in firing by security forces on a crowd that was protesting against the killing of two Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists in Shopian district. “Ruby was at home when a bullet pierced through the window and hit her,” one of her family members said. A heart-wrenching picture of Ruby’s 11-month old baby holding an empty baby feeder at her funeral has gone viral on social media.
Ruby is the 29th civilian to be killed in firing by security forces over the past two years, according to official sources.
A woman was killed in a Kupwara village during a gunbattle on December 11 while a cab driver was killed in another incident. “We have already warned people that attempts to march towards encounter sites and hampering anti-militancy operations amounts to committing suicide. But some people, especially youth, at the behest of militants, attempt to disrupt such operations in order to help the terrorists escape,” a police officer said.
The officer said security personnel exercise maximum restraint but have to open fire when the situation goes out of hand.