Government orders probe
Agence India Press
Srinagar: Protests rocked Rafiabad area of Kashmir’s Baramulla district for the second day on Saturday over the killing of a youth allegedly in firing by security forces.
Ashiq Hussain Rather was killed in his native village Lasser around 8.30 pm, Friday, when soldiers patrolling through the village shot at him, his relatives said. A bullet hit him on the chest and he died at the spot.
The locals alleged that there were soldiers in the village. They were frisking the people passing through. “And when he (Rather) moved out of his house, they shot him without any provocation. After killing him (Rather), they didn’t allow us to move closer. When the villagers raised slogans and started protesting, the soldiers ran away from the village,” they added.
As the news of Rather’s killing spread, the villagers of Lasser and surrounding villages assembled at Rather’s house and took to streets, demanding action against the Army personnel allegedly involved in his killing.
Top police and administrative officers reached the village to pacify the protesters. The police registered an FIR against the troopers. In a statement to Agence India Press, a defense spokesman said last night that troops of 32 Rashtriya Rifles and police had launched a joint operation following information about presence of militants in the area.
“At about 9.00 PM, some firing was reported and it is believed that a civilian has been killed in the firing. Due to darkness there are problems in ascertaining the details at present,” the spokesman had said.
General Officer Commanding 15 Corps along with Minister of State (Home), Jammu and Kashmir, Nazir Aslam Wani, Director General Police, General Officer Commanding Kilo Force and IGP Kashmir visited the area of incident which lead to the death of an innocent young man in village Lasser, North Kashmir on night of 10 Feb 2012, defence spokesman said.
“Initial investigation of the incident revealed that on the basis of intelligence which indicated presence of militants in the village a column of 32 Rashtriya Rifles established a cordon near a group of houses,” spokesman added.
The residents were demanding removal of the army camp in their area and were protesting till last reports came in.
Omar, who arrived here from Jammu, told reporters, that “It is too early to comment on the incident as there are multiple versions coming out about it. We are looking into the matter.” The Chief Minister said he will see whether the standard operating procedure was followed by the security forces while laying the ambush in area.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani, MLa Langate, Er Rasheed, Director General of Police (DGP) Kuldeep Khoda and other top officials are camping in the area and are trying to pacify the protesters.
On January 02, a class 12th, Altaf Ahmad Sood was killed by Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) at Boniyar in the same district.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had termed the incident ‘murder’ and promised a severe punishment against the culprits.
“The killing of Altaf Ahmad in firing is not less than a murder.
Government would spare no effort in handing over severe punishment to the culprits. Justice would be given to the bereaved family at all costs,” Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had said.
Omar had asserted: “Even if we have to move any court or take course to any law to punish the personnel behind the killing of Altaf, we would do so positively.”
Chief Minister Abdullah has been calling for revocation of AFSPA from certain parts of Jammu and Kashmir, a demand being opposed by the Army. (AIP News)
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