Budgam killings: Valley tense, army relocates unit facing murder charges
With separatists' shutdown affecting normal life in Kashmir, the authorities for second consecutive day imposed curfew in large parts of Srinagar city in the wake of death of two youths in the army firing on Monday.india Updated: Nov 05, 2014 23:16 IST
With separatists' shutdown affecting normal life in Kashmir, the authorities for second consecutive day imposed curfew in large parts of Srinagar city in the wake of death of two youths in the army firing on Monday.
Meanwhile, the army has already relocated the unit facing murder charges.
Senior superintendent of police, Srinagar, Amit Kumar said, "A curfew was imposed in six police stations (in the city) to maintain law and order." Despite curfew in Nowgam, home to two slain youths, protesters clashed with security forces. Angry protesters hurled rocks and stones at security forces, inflicting minor injuries on two of them. The security forces responded with tear smoke shells and batons.
Normal life was badly hit by the shutdown call issued by separatist JKLF, moderate and hardline Hurriyat factions. Several separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were put under house arrest, while JKLF chief Yasin Malik remains behind the bars for anti-poll campaign.
There was thin traffic on roads in all 10 districts of the Valley with most shops and offices closed for the day.
Facing public outrage, the army has relocated 53 Rashtriya Rifles unit, which opened fire at a car at Chattergam checkpoint in Budgam district and left two dead and two others injured, pending the inquiry. The police have registered cases under Section 302 and 307 (murder and attempt to murder) against the army personnel.
The Budgam deputy commissioner, in his initial report, suggested that five people were in the car when it was fired upon. The report suggest that the vehicle was stopped by the army and skidded off the road and hit a pole on the road side. "In the meantime, one of the detachment of the naka party fired upon the vehicle resulting into deaths," said the report. It contradicts the army version that the car failed to stop at two check points and was fired upon to stop it.
Javed Mustafa Mir, a local legislator, accused the army of opening fire "indiscriminately". "These youths had tried to stop the vehicle but they got scared as they were all young. There was no need to fire upon the vehicle after it had collided with the electric pole. The army attacked the vehicle with an intent to kill. I was shocked to see scores of bullets marks on the car. "It was a cold-blooded murder," alleged Mir.
With polls round the corner, the political parties aimed their gun at the army. National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal described the army probe as "mere eye wash". "They enjoy impunity under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. It seems they are hell bent to create uncertainty before polls," alleged Kamal, uncle of chief minister Omar Abdullah.
Peoples Democratic Party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who addressed a poll rally in north Kashmir's Handwara constituency, said, "Such tragic incidents have the potential of reversing the peace and normalisation efforts. Almost similar circumstances had led to eruption of turmoil in Kashmir in early nineties... the measures like reduction in the number of troops and revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) have become more than imperative."
CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami also called for "punishment to the guilty personnel".
First Published: Nov 05, 2014 22:46 IST