Omar demands probe in death of youths in army firing

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2014 20:01 IST

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday demanded a probe into the killing of two youths in army firing in Budgam district.

"Have spoken to union defence minister Arun Jaitley regarding Monday's incident where the army firing resulted in two avoidable deaths. Such killings have no place in an otherwise improving security environment where militancy incidents are at record low levels," Omar wrote on Twitter.

Abdullah said the killings "vitiated" the election atmosphere in the Valley and stressed that such incidents had no place in an improving security situation in the state.

The state will go to polls in a five-phase election starting November 23.

Abdullah spoke to the Centre on Tuesday. According to an NC spokesman, while speaking to the union defence minister, Abdullah said such incidents had no place in an otherwise improving security environment and served as severe blows to the holistic efforts of sustainable peace and reconciliation in the state. Abdullah said justice in these cases should be swift and effective so that there is no cynicism in the minds of people when it comes to their faith in the institutions of justice.

While speaking to Jaitley, Abdullah said these deaths had served to vitiate the poll atmosphere already strained by the post-flood reconstruction challenge that people faced. Abdullah said Jaitley had assured a time-bound transparent inquiry into the incident and action in case of a wrongdoing.

The separatist leadership while condemning the incident has called for a shutdown on Wednesday. The call was given by moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

The army has also initiated an inquiry into the firing.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party condemned the incident. In a statement, president Mehbooba Mufti urged the Prime Minister to "put a stop to the unaccounted killings in Kashmir". She said the killings only added to the cold statistics of death in Jammu and Kashmir for which nobody was held accountable.

Meanwhile, Jaitley tweeted, "The Budgam incident is highly regrettable. A fair inquiry will be held and action taken against those found guilty."

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