The death of two youth in the line of army firing cast a shadow on political parties' poll campaigns on Tuesday with the assembly elections slated for Kashmir from November 25.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah said the incident vitiated the election atmosphere as protesters clashed with security forces amidst curfew-like restrictions in large parts of the city.
Defence minister Arun Jaitley and the army assured a fair enquiry into the incident. "The Budgam incident in the Kashmir valley is highly regrettable. A fair inquiry will be held and action taken against those found guilty," Jaitley tweeted.
"Have spoken to Union defence minister @arunjaitley reg. (regarding) yesterday's (Monday's) incident where army firing resulted in 2 avoidable deaths," Omar wrote on Twitter.Abdullah also said that justice in these cases should be swift and effective so that there is no cynicism in the minds of the people when it comes to their faith in the institutions of justice.
Meanwhile, security forces lobbed teargas shells at crowds defying curfew-like restrictions in Nowgam area. Earlier, amidst sloganeering and wailing relatives, two local youth, Faisal Ahmad Bhat and Mehraj-du-Din Ahmad Dar, were laid to rest. The two civilians were among four who were hit by a volley of bullets fired at a car by the army near in Budgam, bordering Srinagar city.
The army had on Monday admitted to firing at a white Maruti after it "failed to stop at two check points" and regretted the deaths.
Inspector general of police, Abdul Ghani Mir, said an FIR had been registered into the incident, which has potential to roil situation in the Kashmir valley ahead of polls.
Both hard-line and moderate Hurriyat groups have condemned the killings.
The incident also forced political parties to cancel election rallies. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti cancelled her scheduled rally in Rajpora. Similarly, the newly-floated Kashmir Development Front cancelled its road shows in Budgam, Pulwama and Anantnag districts.