The Army on Sunday said it is ordering a probe "on its own" into the killing of a youth allegedly by its personnel during a February 4 ambush in North Kashmir's Kupwara district following which a murder case was registered against the unit.
"The Army is ordering an enquiry on its own, because although we are quite sure as to what has happened, nevertheless to clarify any doubts that may come up, we are doing our own enquiry," Army Chief General VK Singh said.
According to official sources, Manzoor Ahmad Magray, 22, was allegedly shot dead by the troopers of 4 Para of the Army who had laid an ambush in Chogal area of Handwara town in Kupwara district.
Regretting the loss of life in the operation, Defence spokesman Lt Col J S Brar said in a statement yesterday that based on specific intelligence about movement of militants, Army troops had laid an ambush to trap them.
At around 2230 hours, the troops detected suspicious movement of two persons.
"As per the Standing Operative Procedures, the troops challenged the individuals to surrender. Both the individuals paid no heed and attempted to run away under the cover of darkness. The troops opened fire resulting in fatal injuries to Manzoor Ahmad Magray while the other unidentified person escaped," Brar said.
Although the troops strictly adhered to the procedures, the Army regrets the loss of life, more so, as the year has been declared by the Army as the year of the 'Kashmiri Awam', he said.
"We deeply and sincerely express our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family," he said.
J-K chief minister Omar Abdullah has condemned the killing.
The incident led to protests in Chogal as the residents demanded arrest of the Army personnel involved in the killing. A case under section 302 Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) was registered against the 4 Para unit of the Army, sources said.