Says soldiers fired at car that skidded off the road and hit a pole
An official report has nailed the Army’s version about the killing of two youth by its soldiers at Chattergam Budgam on Monday. It states that the Maruti car, in which four people were travelling, skidded off the road and hit a pole following which the Army soldiers rained bullets on the vehicle, killing two people and injuring two others.
The report— prepared by District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police Budgam—has been submitted to the Election Commission of India and the State Government. A copy of the report—officially termed as “incident report”—is with Greater Kashmir.
“As per eyewitnesses, the Maruti-800 was stopped by Army ‘naka’ party but it skidded off the road and hit a pole on the roadside. In the meantime, one of the detachments of the naka party fired upon the vehicle, resulting in death of two persons and injury to two others,” the report reads.
The report doesn’t entertain the Army’s version about the killings that it had “received intelligence inputs about movement of militants and opened fired as the car failed to stop at three check-posts.”
“Three motor vehicle check points were established along the route to nab the militants. The car in which these youth were travelling did not stop at two check points when they were flagged down. They even broke through the third barrier at Chattergam leading to the security forces opening firing on them,” the Army had said in a statement soon after the killings that evoked widespread protests and condemnation.
The official report doesn’t acknowledge the Army’s statement that the car broke “three nakas” leading to the forces opening firing on the vehicle. Similarly, the report nowhere mentions that the car didn’t stop at the ‘naka.’
Two youth—Faisal Yusuf and Meraj-ud-Din—were killed and two others critically injured after soldiers of Army’s 53 Rashtriya Rifles opened fire on a car in Chattergam area on Monday evening. The injured youth, Zahid Ayoub and Shakir, are undergoing treatment at Army hospital in Srinagar.
Soon after the killings, the Army “regretted” loss of lives while ordering a court of inquiry into the “firing incident.”
The slain youth, who belonged to Nowgam area on Srinagar outskirts, were laid to rest yesterday amid protests, clashes and curfew. People hit the streets in Nowgam localities, and elsewhere, demanding severe punishment to killers.
Violent protests continued in Nowgam area on Wednesday, with protestors raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans while clashing with government forces.