Two youth were killed and another critically injured in Army firing on protestors during clashes in Ganowpora village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday.
Eyewitnesses said army men fired on the protestors during clashes at Ganowpora village in Shopian district.
They said some protestors received bullet injuries and were rushed to nearby hospital.
Two youth Javid Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Rashid Bhat of Balapora, Shopian and Suhail Javid son of Javid Ahmad Lone of Ganowpora succumbed to injuries while being shifted to the hospital.
Doctors and eyewitnesses said Javid received bullet injury on head and Suhail sustained a bullet injury on abdomen and neck.
Javid was shifted to District Hospital Pulwama where doctors declared him brought dead.
“He was dead on arrival,” Medical Superintendent District Hospital Pulwama, Dr. Abdul Rashid Para said.
Suhail was shifted to Primary Health Centre Rajpora.
“He had two bullet wounds and was brought dead to hospital, ,” a medico From PHC Rajpora said.
Another youth from Brathipora, Rayees Ahmad Ganie son of Ghulam Rasool Ganie, who has a head injury, was shifted to District Hospital Pulwama, where from he was referred to Srinagar hospital for specialised treatment.
Suhail Ahmad Khan, a youth from Ganowpora, said army appeared in the village this morning and warned residents to withdraw banners and flags which they had erected on slain militant, Firdous Ahmad’s grave and house.
“They warned us of dire consequences if the banners were not removed,” he said.
The locals said at around 2 pm, an army convoy comprising 30-40 vehicles barged in the village and parked their vehicles on the road.
They said some youth pelted stones on the army men to stop them from entering the village.
“Army men first fired some rounds in air. Afterwards, they fired directly towards the protesting youth,” the locals said.
“Javid Ahmad Bhat was hiding behind a shop when he was killed in a targeted fire by army men,” said Khan who was traumatised by this incident and shifted to District Hospital for treatment.
Eyewitnesses said when army was retreating from the spot, they fired from a distance of one km towards another youth Suhail Javid.
Medical Superintendent SKIMS Soura, Dr Syed Amin Tabish said the hospital received a 23 old boy with a head injury and termed his condition as stable.
SP Shopian Ambarkar Sriram Dinkar said police have registered an FIR in this incident.
“The Army convoy was on its routine area domination patrol and was passing through the village when they came under stone pelting and resorted to firing”, he said .
Sources said police has registered an FIR against army unit involved in the incident.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, said the magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the killing.
He said Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Muhammad Aijaz has been appointed as the inquiry officer to ascertain the facts about the death of the youth.
“DC has been directed to submit the report within 15 days, Khan said.
Meanwhile, defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said at about 3 pm an army administrative convoy was passing through Ganowpora chowk in Shopian when it came under unprovoked and intense stone pelting by a group of 100-120 youth.
“Within no time, their numbers swelled to 200-250 persons. The crowd surrounded an isolated portion of the convoy consisting four vehicles. They caused extensive damage to the vehicles and tried to set them on fire. A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) accompanying the convoy got hit on the head and fell unconscious suffering serious injury,” he said.
The spokesman claimed that mob tried to lynch the individual and snatch his weapon.
“The violent crowd further closed in towards the vehicles and attempted to set them on fire. Considering the extreme gravity of the situation, army was constrained to open fire in self defence to prevent lynching of the JCO and burning of government vehicle by the mob,” he said.
The spokesman said seven army men suffered injuries and extensive damage was caused to 11 vehicles.
“In the process two civilians succumbed to the bullet injuries,” he added.