Budgam firing: Survivor recalls horror, debunks army claim

Budgam firing: Survivor recalls horror, debunks army claim

Budgam firing: Survivor recalls horror, debunks army claim

The 14-year-old youth who escaped unhurt in the Army firing in Budgam district on Monday believes it was a 'mojeza' (miracle) that he is still alive and debunks the army claim that they were signaled to stop at three check posts before their car was fired at.

Basim Amin, who had to run to save his life, told reporters,"It is a miracle that I am still alive ... I am thankful to Allah for it."

Amin was one of the five youngster travelling in the white car from Nowgam to Suthsoo in Budgam district on Monday to see a Muharram procession.

Army personnel opened fire at the car after the driver allegedly did not stop the vehicle at three check points, resulting in death of two youth and injuries to two others.

Reacting to the army claim, Amin said they were not stopped at any point by the army personnel.

"We were driving in a merry mood towards Suthsoo when Faisal (who was driving) was hit by a truck. Faisal said he will pull up the car...that is when an army man shot him in the arm," he said.

The 14-year-old said Faisal lost control over the vehicle and it rammed into an electricity pole, he said. "The armymen then opened indiscriminate fire at us," he said.

While Amin was lucky, two of his friends, Faisal Yousuf and Mehraj-ud-din, were killed and two others-- Zahid Ayoub and Shakir Ahmad-- were injured.

Amin said the troops fired at the car from three sides and he escaped by jumping out from the window as the door did not open.

"When the firing stopped after less than a minute, I looked at Faisal who was drenched in blood and not moving. I looked behind and found Mehraj, Shakir and Zahid fallen on each other with blood oozing out from their bodies," Amin said.

He said while running to save his life, he saw the troops pointing their guns at him.

A senior army commander, Lt General D S Hooda, today promised legal action against the troops if found guilty of violating the rules of engagement.

Police has said nothing incriminating was found at the scene of incident and the youth had no links to militancy.

The incident led to widespread condemnation from most mainstream political parties while separatists have called for a strike across the Kashmir on Wednesday.

The Army today said that the inquiry into the incident will be completed within days and action will follow against anyone found guilty of violating the rules of engagement.

"Let me state this very clearly that we take responsibility for what happened (at Chattergam in Budgam)," General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army's Northern Command, Lt Gen. DS Hooda, told reporters here.