Army fired in self-defence: Govt on Kupwara Killings

Objects to probe by sitting judge

Army fired in self-defence - Govt on Kupwara KillingsAfter giving clean chit to Army, the state government has objected to investigation into the recent civilian killings in Kupwara district by a sitting judge, saying that it has already constituted an eight-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case.

Police informed the court that Inspector General of Police has constituted an eight-member team, headed by DIG North Kashmir Range Baramulla, to investigate the cases registered under FIR 130, 131, 132, 134 in Police Station Handwara, and FIR 60 and 66 in PS Kupwara.

The other members of the SIT include ASP Kupwara Fayaz Hussain; Dy SP Headquarters Baramulla, Feroz Yahya; SHO Kupwara, Mir Showkat; SHO Handwara Aijaz Ahmad; Sub-Inspector Mohammad Shafi; SI Abdul Rashid and Head Constable Abdul Gani.

A division bench of the court after hearing both the parties reserved the judgment over the matter.

Advocate General while objecting to the plea of Bar Association regarding investigation by a sitting judge said the JK Police is already investigating the matter as SIT has been constituted to investigate the matter.

Earlier, police exonerated army in a report before the court about the chronology of events in Kupwara and Handwara.

Police said a mob attempted to enter the army bunker and was about to lynch army personnel who were posted in the bunker at Main Chowk Handwara besides resorted to heavy stone pelting.

“To disperse the mob and tackle the situation, the army personnel resorted to firing, resulting in death of two persons besides inflicting injuries to three youth, who were shifted to SKIMS Srinagar for treatment,” reads the report submitted by police.

Police said some subversive elements raised alarm in the town alleging that army personal had molested a minor school girl in a public lavatory.

“The situation took an ugly turn when the violent mob gathered in main chowk Handwara and started raising anti-Indian slogans, scaled the fencing and pulled down the tricolor hoisted at Main Chowk Handwara within the precincts of the army bunker,” the report reads.

Regarding killing of civilian in Drugmulla, Police said on the burial of civilian Javaid Ahmad Peer, a large gathering of people assembled and led a protest procession towards Artillery Brigade Drugmulla.

Police said the mob in the procession resorted to violence, chanted anti-Indian slogans, pelted stones on the police and paramilitary forces and attempted to enter into the Artillery Brigade camped at Drugmulla to ransack the same.

“However, the mob was intercepted by police and para-military forces at Matipora Kupwara and was directed to disperse peacefully. The interception irked them and they resorted to more violence, by pelting stones heavily on police and para-military forces in which five policemen and 16 CRPF personnel sustained injuries,” the report reads.

“In order to maintain law and order, light cane charging and tear smoke shells were used. Nevertheless some of protestors sustained injuries amongst them, one protestor namely Jehangir Ahmed Wani S/O Ghulam Mohidin Wani r/O Nagri succumbed to injuries,” report said.

Regarding the incident in Natnusa, police said a large gathering of unruly mob, after violating the curfew restrictions, armed with sticks, lathes and stones proceeded towards the army camp Natnussa and attacked it, dismantled its fencing wall and a shed besides resorting to heavy stone pelting upon the army personnel posted over-there and attempted to enter into the camp with the intention to endanger the lives of the army personnel present in the camp and also to damage property there.

The unruly mob was warned by the army to disperse peacefully but they deny and intensified their activities which constrained the army personnel of 47 RR of Natnussa camp to open fire, resultantly some of the protestors sustained bullet injuries and one among them namely Arif Mohidin Dar S/0 Gh Mohidin Dar R/O Awoora, later succumbed to injuries.

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