Demanding a fair investigation into the recent incident of killing of two youths in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district, veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Saturday said those responsible should be either hanged or given life imprisonment if the act committed was intentional.
"If a person has intentionally killed somebody without any cause, he is guilty of murder then he should either be hanged or should suffer at least life-imprisonment. If it is intentional," Jethmalani told the media here.
"I hope and trust that this is not an intentional act. If it is an intentional act, it is murder, and people should be punished for it," he added.
Expressing his sorrow for those families who lost their loved ones in the firing, Jethmalani called upon the society to seek an apology from them.
"But my heart goes out to the families of those two youngsters who have died and they must be emotionally held, otherwise, fully compensated and society has to apologise to all of them and beg their pardon for what has happened," Jethmalani said.
The veteran lawyer demanded a fair enquiry and investigation into this case.
"If it is an intentional murder, they must suffer the consequences, which normally go with conviction of murder. Otherwise, please do not create unnecessary hysteria, and unnecessary misunderstanding and only exaggerate the conflict. Please don't do that," he said.
Earlier on Friday, the army took responsibility for the recent killing of two youths by its soldiers in Budgam district and admitted that it was a "mistake and a violation of rules of engagement". The army also said that it would complete its probe within ten days and take action against the guilty.
"I admit that a mistake has happened, otherwise, why would have two civilian boys been killed like this," Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General D.S. Hooda told the media at a news conference at 15 Corps headquarters in Badami Bagh cantonment.
"We sincerely wish that the killing of civilians wouldn't have happened. We share the sorrow of the families," he added.
The defence ministry has approved an ex-gratia grant of Rs.10 lakhs for the families of the deceased and Rs. 5 lakhs for those injured in the firing in Budgam.
Earlier on Monday, security personnel shot dead two youths and injured two others after they did not stop at check points in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district.
The army had received the information on the movement of militants in the area after which they set up three checking points.