Shopian remains shut over ‘civilian killings’, NC demands legal action
Four youths and two militants were found dead after a shootout involving army at Pahnoo, Shopian, on Sunday evening.Updated: Mar 06, 2018 22:58 IST
South Kashmir’s Shopian, which witnessed the killing of four civilians and two militants in a shootout on Sunday night, and other adjoining areas remained shut for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, even as the Valley’s separatist leaders called for a ‘Shopian Chalo’ march on Wednesday.
Normal life in rest of the Valley was unaffected but train services remained suspended for the second consecutive day across Kashmir although there are apprehensions about the development of law and order situation on Wednesday.
Four youths and two militants were found dead after a shootout involving army at Pahnoo, Shopian, on Sunday evening. While two bodies — one youth and one militant — were found near the site of shooting on Monday morning, four bodies — comprising three youths and a militant — were found on Sunday night itself.
Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik termed the Shopian incident as “another example of brutal Indian aggression” in a joint statement and called on people to march to pay homage to the dead.
The situation in Kashmir is “grim and fast deteriorating”, observed Mirwaiz in a statement on Tuesday. “These forces enjoy complete immunity from any accountability or legal prosecution under the cover of the draconian law Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).”
The ‘Shopian Chalo’ march coincides with a call for shutdown by separatists over the shifting of two prominent prisoners — Dr Qasim Faktoo and Shafi Shareati — from Srinagar central jail to jails in Jammu region. While Faktoo has been shifted to Udhampur jail, Shareati was taken to Hira Nagar sub-jail in Kathua.
NC asks why no FIR was filed
The National Conference asked for clarification from the Jammu and Kashmir government on why legal action has not been taken in the Shopian firing incident, even after chief minister Mehbooba Mufti accepted that those killed were civilians.
Commenting on Mehbooba’s tweet on Monday accepting the youths killed in the incident as civilians, NC spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said the chief minister has not been elected to be a “mute spectator” to civilian killings and express condolences.
“What the people would like to know is why the state government has taken no legal action against the culprits, when it has accepted that the young men were not militants or OGWs (over-ground workers), but innocent civilians.
“She (Mehbooba) is duty-bound to hold the culprits accountable and, if she chooses not to do so, this would be a serious dereliction of her constitutional duties yet again,” Mattu said in a statement.
Mattu wondered why an FIR has not been filed and the “errant” troops arrested in view of Mehbooba’s admission, terming it “shameless surrender and silence”.
(With agency inputs)