Two Youth Killed in Handwara Firing, Army Bunker Set Ablaze
Two youths were killed on Monday when security forces opened fire during a protest in Kashmir Valley’s Handwara town.
Protests erupted in Handwara, Kupwara district, 85 kilometres from Srinagar, following allegations that a girl, on her way home, was molested by soldiers posted in an army picket in the town, official sources said.
They said the protestors pelted stones at the army picket after which the soldiers opened fire.
SJM Gillani, IGP of Kashmir, however, said:
There was allegation of a girl being misbehaved with by a force personnel. When the crowd assembled and tried to ransack the bunker and set it on fire, the forces retaliated. That’s when two people got injured. Later the two injured succumbed to their injuries. Presently the situation is being brought under control.
A police official said the army personnel fled from the bunker soon after the death of the two civilians. The protestors then set ablaze the static army bunker in Handwara’s main chowk and attacked the police station by pelting stones, the police official said.
Additional police personnel has been deployed in sensitive areas of the city to maintain law and order.
Political parties, like National Conference and Congress, expressed grief and shock over deaths and demanded a probe so that the guilty could be punished. Separatist outfit Hurriyat Conference headed by hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani gave a call for shutdown on Wednesday.
The two youths killed in the firing were identified as Iqbal Ahmad and Nayeem Bhat, the sources said. The matter will be investigated and anybody found guilty will be dealt as per the law, an army official said while expressing regret at the loss of lives.
Many locals have taken to social media platforms to voice their concern over the deaths of Kashmiri youth at the hands of the Indian army.
(With inputs from PTI.)