South Kashmir: Two civilians killed in army firing in Shopian, govt orders magisterial probe

South Kashmir: Two civilians killed in army firing in Shopian, govt orders magisterial probe

Sources at District Hospital Pulwama said that the youth, identified as Javid Ahmad Bhat, was brought to the facility with critical head injuries. “He succumbed at the hospital,” they said.

Two civilians were killed and nine others injured after army opened fire on protesters in Ganowpora village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday. Jammu and Kashmir Police has registered a case against the army while the divisional administration ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.

Reports said that youth hurled rocks at an army party in Ganowpora village. They said that army responded by opening fire on the protesters, resulting into injuries to eleven people.

Sources at District Hospital Pulwama said that four injured were brought to the facility for treatment. “One of injured, identified as Javid Ahmad Bhat (20) of Balpora, was brought to the hospital with critical head injury. He succumbed at the facility,” said a source.

Medical Superintendent District Hospital Pulwama Dr Rashid Parra confirmed the death of Bhat.

Source said that two injured, identified as Adil Ahmad (19) and Suhail Ahmad, are being treated at the facility.

However, another youth, identified as Rayees Ahmad Ganai (21), was shifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment. 

They said that another youth, identified as Suhail Javid Lone (24) of Rawalpora, was shifted to PHC Rajpora where he was declared dead on arrival.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Shopian confirmed the death of two civilians.

Meanwhile, SSP Shopian Shriram Ambarkar said they have registered an FIR against the army.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan, according to KNS news agency, reported that the magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the killings.

Khan said that Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shopian, Muhammad Aijaz has been appointed as the inquiry officer to ascertain the facts about the deaths.

He said that DC has been directed to submit the report within 15 days.

Army version:

Reacting to the killing of two civilians in Shopian district of south Kashmir, army on Saturday said that they had to open fire in self-defence to “prevent the lynching of a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) by a mob”.

An army spokesman, in a statement, said that an army administrative convoy was passing through Ganaupura chowk in Shopian when it came under “unprovoked and intense stone pelting by a group of 100-120 stone pelters” at around 3 pm.

“Within no time, their numbers swelled to 200-250 persons. The crowd surrounded an isolated portion of the convoy consisting of four vehicles. They caused extensive damage to these vehicles and tried to set them on fire,” said the statement.

It said a junior commissioned officer accompanying the convoy got hit on the head and fell unconscious suffering serious injury. 

“The mob tried to lynch the individual and snatch his weapon. The violent crowd further closed in towards the vehicles and attempted to set them on fire.” 

“Considering the extreme gravity of the situation the army was constrained to open fire in self defence to prevent lynching of the JCO and burning of Government vehicle by the mob.” 

The statement said that seven army men suffered injuries and extensive damage was caused to eleven vehicles. “In the process two civilians succumbed to the bullet injuries,” it added.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir government had ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. (With inputs from Ummar Majeed)