Kashmir Boils After Two Civilians Killed In Army Firing

12/04/2016 11:11 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Tension gripped Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district after two youths were killed and six people were injured on Tuesday in Army firing to disperse a stone-pelting mob which was protesting against alleged molestation of a girl by some of its personnel.

The incident happened in Handwara, about 85 kms from Srinagar, when locals, protesting over alleged molestation of a girl student, started pelting stones at the army picket and the soldiers opened fire in return in which Iqbal Ahmad and Nayeem Bhat were killed.

Nayeem, a student of Government Degree College Handwara, was a budding top order batsman, who had attended an Under-19 national level camp three years ago.

The killing triggered more protests in the town and had an echo in Srinagar and Pulwama districts of Kashmir as well.

“The security forces must exercise maximum restraint and adhere to the Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) while dealing with the public protests as incidents of innocent killings cannot be tolerated, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said, while expressing solidarity with the families of the two youth.

Mehbooba said the security personnel involved in the killing of two youths in Handwara will be handed exemplary punishment, saying such incidents "cannot" be tolerated.

According to Jammu and Kashmir police, an alleged incident of "misbehaviour/molestation" by an army man took place in the town.

"Within minutes public in large numbers gathered there and attacked the army bunker in Handwara chowk. They assaulted the personnel deployed there, ransacked the bunker and attempted to set fire to the bunker," a police spokesman said.

A criminal case has been registered in Handwara Police Station and an investigation has been launched to ascertain the facts, the spokesman said.

Mehbooba said such tragic incidents have a huge negative impact on the efforts of the government and the political leadership aimed at consolidating the peace efforts in the state.

Several photographs of Bhat at various cricketing events, including a net session with Jammu and Kashmir's star all-rounder Parvez Rasool, were being circulated on social networking sites soon after his death.

In one picture, Bhat is seen shaking hands with a senior police officer before the start of a recent cricket tournament in the district.

Last week, Two civilians were injured in Bijehara town of Kashmir today afternoon when militants lobbed a grenade at an army convoy.

In another incident, ISIS and Pakistani flags were displayed again today near Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.There have been more than a dozen incidents of ISIS flag raising in Kashmir valley in recent months.

(With PTI inputs)

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