Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti met defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday and raised the issue of Handwara firing, in which two Kashmiri youths were allegedly killed by security forces during clashes.
Parrikar assured Mufti that a probe will be initiated and the culprits will be punished.
In another incident, a 50-year-old woman wounded in army firing in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Tuesday succumbed to her injuries at a hospital on Wednesday, taking the total death toll to three.
Mehbooba, who is on her maiden visit to the national capital after assuming the post of Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, met Parrikar and Union urban development minister Venakiah Naidu.
Describing the incident as “very unfortunate”, Mufti said “I spoke to the defence minister. He assured me that a probe will be initiated and the culprits will be punished.”
“At the same time, the family will be compensated. Such incidents should not happen in the future,” she said after meeting Parrikar.
Two youth, including a budding cricketer, were reportedly killed in Handwara when army personnel opened fire to disperse a stone-pelting mob targeting their bunker.
The incident took place after reports surfaced that some army personnel had allegedly molested a girl returning from school.
Police investigations have so far indicated that no such incident had taken place and it was an attempt by some miscreants to create disturbance for removing an army bunker located in the Handwara town, sources said.
The army has ordered an inquiry while the Jammu and Kashmir police registered a criminal case and has begun investigating the incident.
The incident triggered more protests in Handwara and was echoed in Srinagar and Pulwama districts of Kashmir.
Mehbooba Mufti had on Tuesday said the security personnel involved in the killings will be handed exemplary punishment and such incidents “cannot” be tolerated.
She said such tragic incidents have a “negative impact” on the efforts of the government and the political leadership aimed at consolidating the peace efforts.
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, Mufti said.
Mehbooba Mufti also raised the issue of handing over civilian land from the army to the state government.
Later, she met the Urban development minister to discuss projects undertaken by the state and central government.
Mufti had met finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday.