Kashmir unrest: Beerwah on the boil after army allegedly guns down civilian, case filed

Srinagar: More than three months after Major Leetul Gogoi of 53 RR tied a youth to a jeep and paraded him through different streets, troops of the same unit are in the dock as the police are investigating their role in a murder case after a youth was killed and another injured in Jammu and Kashmir's Beerwah area on Friday.

 Kashmir unrest: Beerwah on the boil after army allegedly guns down civilian, case filed

Unrest in Kashmir Valley. Reuters

According to the police, the soldiers had come out for patrolling when they were pelted with stones by the local youths, and in retaliation, they targeted them in which a youth Tanveer Ahmad Wani was killed and another named Mohammad Ibrahim was injured. Both the youths are from the same area where Major Leetul Gogoi had tied the 26-year-old Farooq Ahmad Dar to a jeep and paraded him through different streets, on 9 April when the polling was held for Srinagar parliamentary seat.

Local residents refuted the allegations that there was any stone pelting going on.

Firdous Ahmad Wani, a neighbour of the deceased boy, said that the army fired on the youth without any provocation. "He (Tanveer Ahmad) was coming out of the mosque when the army men opened fire on a group of youth who had assembled at the main market," Wani said. He said that after the youth was killed in a targeted firing, police fired tear gas shells on the mourners. "As we were taking the body for burial, we were fired upon with the tear gas shells in which many youths were injured. He was killed even though he was innocent," Wani said.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir range, Muneer Ahmad Khan, said that a case has been registered against the army and investigation was taken up.

"A case has been lodged by the victim's family and we are carrying out the investigation," he said.

An official of the Beerwah police station said that the case was registered instantly when the boy was injured.

"We registered the case of attempt to murder and will add another section of murder as the investigation progresses," said the official.

However the police earlier said that a patrolling party of the army was returning back to the camp when they were hurled with stones and there was a cracker burst as well.

"As per initial information received today a foot patrol of the army was returning to its camp and near Beerwah when some miscreants pelted stones on them. Someone among the miscreants hurled a fire cracker towards the army men. Because of the bang, the army men thought a grenade was hurled and they retaliated," said the spokesman.

The incident triggered an instant outrage as the people of Beerwah shut down the market and refused to bury the youth until stringent action was taken against the armed force personnel. The relatives of the boy could bury him only late in the evening.

The incident happened at around 1:45 pm and drew sharp reactions from political parties and human rights activists.

Mohammad Ahsan Untoo, a human rights activist, said that the incident happened as Major Gogoi got emboldened after the political parties came in his support.

"Leetul Gogoi despite facing a police case was being hailed by the BJP and even given an award by the army," he said.

Former minister and People Democratic Front (PDF) chairman, Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, said that the incident was unfortunate. "The incident is condemnable and the forces should observe a restraint. The present government has broken all records and there is hardly a day when there is not a killing," said Yaseen.

Congress vice-president GN Monga also came down heavily on the government for the deterioration of the law and order situation in the state.

"There is no check on the human rights violations," Monga said.

Family members of the deceased youth said that he was a tailor and was returning home after prayers when he was shot at and died. His father works as a labourer.

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Updated Date: Jul 21, 2017 21:03:49 IST