Youth killing: Inquiry ordered; army apologises to family

Youth killing: Inquiry ordered; army apologises to family

A magisterial inquiry was today ordered by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah into the ''accidental'' killing of a youth in Baramulla district by the army even as head of Srinagar-based 15 Corps apologised to the family of the deceased.

Ashiq Hussain Rather, a resident of Lesar village near Watargam in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district, 75 km from here, died after being hit by a single bullet around 9 PM yesterday, officials said.

Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani, who was camping at the spot along with DGP Kuldeep Khoda and Lt Gen S A Hasnain, met parents of the deceased and the local people and assured them of speedy justice.

"The sub-divisional magistrate will conduct a probe into the death of Ashiq Hussain and submit its report within one month," he said.

Lt Gen Hasnain, who apologised to the family of the deceased, ordered an internal probe into the circumstances leading to the death of 22-year-old Ashiq.

Both the enquiries were decided upon in consultation with the family of the deceased, the officials said.

An army release said initial investigation of the incident revealed that on the basis of "intelligence which indicated presence of terrorists in the village, a column of 32 Rashtriya Rifles established a cordon near a group of houses.

"The presence of the army created some panic in a house which led to an accidental discharge of a weapon in the hands of an Rashtriya Rifles soldier.

"The single bullet which was discharged hit Rathar who expired on the spot," the statement said and added that Lt Gen Hasnain confirmed that the unfortunate death was by an accidental discharge of a weapon.

The army has assured job to a male member of the family.The tempers of the local people was cooled by Wani after which the body of the youth was laid to rest.
Omar said he will see whether the standard operating procedure was followed by the security forces while laying the ambush in area.

A defence spokesman, in a statement issued last night, said troops of 32 Rashtriya Rifles and police had launched a joint operation following information about presence of militants in the area.

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