NHRC seeks report on Ramban firing

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a report from the Union Home Secretary and Jammu and the Kashmir DGP on the firing in Ramban district on July 18 in which four people were killed.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the matter, the NHRC asked the Home Secretary and the DGP to submit their reports within four weeks on the incident outside the BSF post.

The Border Security Force (BSF) had come under criticism over the incident. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had ordered a probe after describing the incident as “unfortunate” and warning the BSF personnel that “excessive use of force” will be dealt strictly. The paramilitary force is understood to have submitted its report to the Home Ministry claiming that it’s personnel, along with state police, had to resort to firing in self-defence as the mob was violent and tried to enter the BSF post.

Providing the sequence of events, the BSF said its personnel intercepted one Mohd Latif (25) around 9 pm on July 17 near its post. When asked about his identity, Latif started arguing. Soon, around 15 to 20 people assembled at the spot and the BSF patrol party came back to their post.

The BSF said that Latif levelled baseless allegations against the patrol party and announced through a public address system of a nearby mosque that he was mistreated and that the personnel desecrated Holy Quran. The force claimed that it restrained from firing and informed local police about possible deterioration of law and order situation in the area.

Around 400-500 people gathered at 12:30 am on July 18 and pelted stones at its post but the crowd dispersed later. The crowd gathered again at the BSF camp at 3 am and started throwing stones and it tried to barge into the camp at 6:45 am.
Due to deteriorating law and order situation, the police tried to disperse the mob and fired 3-4 rounds, the BSF claimed. It said BSF constable Ramhari suffered a bullet injury in his stomach besides two civilians.

However, at 9:30 am on July 18, the BSF said, a mob of around 700-800 men started stone pelting vigorously on the Post. Police and the BSF men had to fire in self defence, it added.

It is learnt that efforts were made by a section of protesters to attack on the post and to inflict injuries on the BSF and police personnel, compelling them to open fire in self defence, it said. The protesters blocked roads around the post which resulted in the force personnel being confined to the post.

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