Authorities imposed a curfew in Handwara and restrictions in parts of Srinagar after separatists called for a shutdown of Kashmir Valley on Wednesday to protest the army firing that killed three people.
Two youths were killed on Tuesday when the army opened fire in Handwara, about 85 kms from Srinagar, to disperse a stone-pelting mob protesting the alleged molestation of a girl by army personnel. A third person, a 50-year-old woman who was fatally injured in the incident, succumbed to injuries on Wednesday.
The killings triggered protests in Handwara town, Srinagar and Pulwama districts of Kashmir. Restrictions were imposed in six police station areas in the capital city of Srinagar on Wednesday.
The District Magistrate Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone however said members of the Sikh community were free to move about these areas in view of the Sikh festival of Baisakhi.
Shutdown being observed in Srinagar, over killing of two youths in firing by security forces in Handwara yesterday pic.twitter.com/yYmylDos9Q— ANI (@ANI_news) April 13, 2016
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said she had spoken to the defence ministry regarding the matter, and announced a compensation for families of the deceased. “I was assured an inquiry will be conducted... I was also assured that those responsible will be punished,” she said, according to ANI.
I was also assured that those responsible will be punished and families of victims will be given compensation:J&K CM pic.twitter.com/louPiIPXKv— ANI (@ANI_news) April 13, 2016
The army ordered a probe into the firing, while Mehbooba told security forces to exercise maximum restraint and adhere to the Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) in dealing with public protests as incidents of innocent killings cannot be tolerated.
The National Conference (NC), Congress and CPI(M) had on Tuesday demanded action against those involved without delay. NC president Farooq Abdullah and working president Omar Abdullah said the onus was on chief minister Mehbooba to ensure the guilty were brought to book without any delay.
CPI(M) MLA from Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also demanded a time-bound judicial probe into the incident.
“The alleged incident of molestation of a girl and subsequent killing of two youth in firing during protests is highly condemnable and heinous act which cannot be tolerated in any civilised society,” Tarigami said.
With agency inputs