Nothing incriminating found from slain, injured persons, says SSP
Police registers case; Army ‘regrets’ incident, orders Court of Inquiry
Two youth were killed and two others critically injured after soldiers of Army’s 53 Rashtriya Rifles opened fire on a car in Chattergam area of Budgam district on Monday evening, police said. The killings evoked massive protests in the area.
Police said they have registered a case and started investigation while Army termed the incident as “highly unfortunate”, saying they have ordered a court of inquiry into the killings.
All the youth are from Nowgam area and police identified them as Faisal Ahmad Bhat son of Muhammad Yusuf, Mehraj-u-din Ahmad Dar son Ghulam Muhammad, Muhammad Zahid Naqash son Muhammad Ayub, and Muhammad Shaker Bhat son Abdur Rehman. Among them Faisal and Mehraj-u-Din have died. “The condition of other two boys is critical,” police said.
“We have been told by Army that two youth succumbed to their injuries on way to a hospital. They were shifted to Base Hospital by the Army men themselves after the incident,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Budgam, Muhammad Irshad told Greater Kashmir. “Nothing incriminating was found from the possession of slain or injured youth.”
Police said the incident took place at Chattergam Chowk, 20 kilometers from here, in Chadoora area of Budgam. The Army had set up a vehicle check post at the Chowk. “The soldiers opened fire on a Maruati Car bearing registration No JK01 R -0321, resulting in injuries to four youth. They were shifted to Army’s Base Hospital at BB Cantonment where two of them succumbed to their injuries,” police said.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Abdul Ghani Mir told Greater Kashmir that police has registered a case into the incident and ““Action will be taken according to law.”
Soon after the incident, massive protests broke out in the area. Reports said hundreds of people hit the roads and were demanding arrest of the accused army men. The Army has handed over the bodies of slain youth to police.
“This is very unfortunate and we regret the loss of lives,” General Officer Commanding, 15 Corps, Lt General Subrata Saha told Greater Kashmir, over phone. He said a court of inquiry has been ordered. “I assure you guilty will be punished.”
Giving details of the incident, Lt Gen Saha said “for the past two days we had information that a white Maruati car and Honda bike has disappeared in the area. So three mobile check posts were set up in Chattergam. The Maruati vehicle did not stop at two check posts. The unfortunate incident took place at the third check post. We are looking into circumstances.”