The toll of civilian deaths at the hands of security forces in Kashmir this month mounted on Friday after two teenaged boys were killed when Central Reserve Police Force personnel opened fire at a mob in Sopore town.
The two boys have been identified as Shakeel Ahmad Ganai and Firdous Ahmad Kakroo. The deaths brought the toll of civilian deaths in the trouble-torn Valley to five so far in June.
The deaths took place after violent protests broke out in Sopore (55 km north of Srinagar) when the CRPF personnel were taking away the bodies of two militants with whom they had engaged in a day-long encounter.
“Our men got trapped in one of the vehicles, which protesters tried to set ablaze,” CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathy said. “The trapped jawans fired in the area in self-defence.”
Locals, however, refuted the claim. “It was only when the CRPF opened fire that their vehicle was set ablaze,” said a resident declining to be named.
Sopore residents also claimed one of the slain militants was a civilian.