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Kashmir: Killing unarmed protesters highly unacceptable, says Omar

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today condemned the killing of protestors in Ramban area of Jammu region and said such incidents had the potential to jeopardise the peaceful atmosphere in the state.

"It is highly unacceptable to shoot at unarmed protesters just because they were reportedly protesting manhandling of an Imam of their area" Omar said in a statement.

He said there was no justification or rationalisation of this "deplorable" act. "This shocking act warrants and demands the severest of condemnation in the strongest possible terms," he said.

Extending his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, the Chief Minister cautioned the people that some vested interests would like to exploit the situation.

Protesters in Kashmir during today's protest. AP

Protesters in Kashmir during today's protest. AP

"Many among us wait for such incidents to occur in order to exploit such situations," he said without naming any separatist or political group.

Immediately after the incident, the Chief Minister spoke over phone to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who ordered a probe into the incident and assured that any use of excessive force or irresponsible action will be dealt with strictly.

The state government also ordered a magisterial inquiry to determine the exact sequence of events and the Chief Minister has directed a high-level team to camp at the spot, which include Minister of state for Revenue and Relief Ajaz Ahmed Khan, Minister for State for Home Sajad Ahmed Kichloo, Director General of Police Ashok Prasad and others.

Omar Abdullah said "It is unfortunate that despite costly lessons learnt in 2008 and 2010, some people are determined to repeat past mistakes and use force against unarmed protesters. Such incidents risk throwing the entire peaceful atmosphere in jeopardy."

"Justice will be done and those involved in the ghastly incident will be brought to book," he said and also appealed to the people to maintain communal harmony, urging them not to be carried away by emotions.

PTI