Army firing kills two youths in Kupwara

Army firing kills two youths in Kupwara

Incident triggers massive protests in north Kashmir

Army firing kills two youths in Kupwara

Massive protests erupted in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Tuesday after two youths were killed when army opened fire on villagers agitating over an alleged molestation by a trooper.

Reports said hundreds of people at main chowk Handwara in Kupwara, 80 kms from here, took to streets demanding arrest of the army personnel involved in the alleged molestation.

Protesters alleged that some soldiers molested a school girl returning home, following which the youth started pelting stones on an army picket in the town.

As the situation turned violent, the Army opened fire and injured at least four people, reports said, adding Two of them later succumbed to their injuries at the hospital.
The slain youth have been identified as 22-year-old Mohammad Iqbal and 19-year-old Nayeem Qadir Bhat.

Medical Superintendent, sub-district hospital Handwara, said Iqbal had bullet injuries in head, while Nayeem had bullet injuries in the abdomen. “Rest of the injured are stable as they have received mild injuries,” he said.

Superintendent Police (SP) Handwara Ghulam Jeelani Wani confirmed that two civilians were killed in during protests. “We are monitoring the situation and the investigation has been taken up,” he told reporters. Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Kumar Rajiv Ranjan said a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the incident. “The situation is critical, and the stone pelting is going on in the town. Police is at the spot,” Ranjan said.

Regretting the incident, the Army said probe has been ordered and the guilty will be dealt as per the law. “Army deeply regrets the unfortunate loss of life. Matter will be investigated and anybody found guilty will be dealt as per law,” Army spokesman Colonel N N Joshi said.

Reports said massive clashes broke out in Handwara immediately after news of the killings spread in nearby areas.

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