Shopian army firing: Third civilian dies of bullet injury
A 23-year-old man, who was hit by a bullet allegedly after army soldiers fired on protesters in south Kashmir’s Shopian district last week, died at a hospital in Srinagar early on Wednesday, officials said, taking the toll in the incident to three.
Rayees Ahmed Ganai of Narpora village was shifted in a critical condition with a bullet injury in the head to the Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in Srinagar. Suhail Lone and Javid Bhat, both in their 20s, were killed on Saturday.
There was some confusion regarding Ganai’s condition on Saturday evening after Shopian’s chief medical officer pegged the number of casualties at three but later clarified that the Narpora resident shifted was alive but very critical.
Ganai’s death takes the toll of civilian deaths in conflict-related incidents this month to five in Kashmir.
The army has said that the soldiers fired on protesters in Ganawpora village in “self-defence” to prevent the lynching of an officer, snatching of weapons by villagers and burning of their vehicles.
The eye-witnesses in the village, however, alleged that the army fired after a confrontation with villagers regarding the removal of an Islamic banner in the village.
Jammu and Kashmir police registered a case against the 10th Garhwal unit for alleged murder, attempt to murder and endangering life and chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that if any army officer has made a mistake, it was “the duty of the government to take the FIR to its logical conclusion”.
The deputy commissioner of Shopian has been asked to probe the incident and submit a report within 20 days of the incident.
The Shopian incident is being seen as a blow to a move to build bridges between the government and the youth.