Mehbooba for time-bound inquiry in Handwara firing incident

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday sought from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar a “time-bound inquiry” into the Handwara firing, which left a budding cricketer and two others dead.

Mehbooba, who is on her maiden visit here after assuming post of Chief Minister, Wednesday met Parrikar and Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu separately.

In her meeting with Parrikar, she sought a time bound probe saying it will will act as a deterrent against such incidents in future.

Describing the firing incident as “very unfortunate”, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said, “I spoke to the Defence Minister. He assured me that a probe will be initiated and the culprits will be punished.

“At the same time the family (of the victims) will be compensated. Such incidents should not happen in the future,” she said after meeting Parrikar.

Two youth, including a budding cricketer, and a woman were killed in Handwara when security forces opened fire to disperse a stone-pelting mob targeting their bunker.

The incident took place after reports surfaced that some army personnel had allegedly molested a girl returning from school. However, police investigations have so far indicated that no such incident had taken place and it was an attempt by some miscreants to create disturbance for removing an army bunker located within Handwara town, sources said.

Army has ordered an inquiry while the police registered a criminal case and begun investigations into the incident which triggered more protests and had an echo in Srinagar and Pulwama districts of Kashmir as well.

Mehbooba said such incidents shake the confidence of the people and adversely impact the efforts of the State government in consolidating peace dividends.

Even as she sought from Parrikar adequate compensation for the families of the victims, Mehbooba said said the loss of lives of the innocent civilians cannot be compensated by whatsoever means.

Mehbooba had yesterday said the security personnel involved in the killing of two youths will be handed exemplary punishment, saying such incidents “cannot” be tolerated

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