Chattergam Killings: NHRC issues notice to Defence Ministry, JK police

SRINAGAR: India’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Wednesday issued notices to the Defence Ministry and J&K police, seeking details on the killing of two teenagers by the Indian army in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
The New Delhi-based rights tribunal sent notices to the Secretary Union Ministry of Defence and Superintendent of Police (SP) Budgam asking for the reports within two weeks.
“The (NHRC) has issued notices to the Secretary Union Ministry of Defence and (SP) Budgam calling for reports within two weeks into the incident of firing by army personnel resulting in killing of two youths and injury to two others in Chattergam area on November 3,” an NHRC handout said.
On November 3, the soldiers of 53 Rashtriya Rifles fired at a Maruti car (JK01R-0321) at Main Chowk Chattergam on Srinagar-Pulwama road during a stop-and-frisk operation.
Two boys died in the firing while two others received critical injuries. The slain were identified as 13-year-old Burhan Yousuf alias Faisal, son of Mohammad Yusuf Bhat, of Kawajapora, Nowgam, and Meraj Ahmad Dar, 18, son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar, of Banpora, Nowgam. Burhan was a Class 7 student at Darul-ul-Uloom Dangerpora, and Meraj, a Class 10 student.
Following the incident, Hurriyat Conference (M) filed a petition before NHRC on Tuesday, hoping for an “impartial probe” into the case, which is being investigated by the army as well.
“It is necessary to take up the matter and make an impartial investigation into the incident so that the guilty are brought to justice,” the Human Rights division of the Hurriyat had said in its petition.
“Please note that the four youths travelling in the car are civilians and nothing incriminating was found from the possession of the slain or injured youths,” the petition said.
In its official communiqué, the NHRC has, however, mentioned the army version. “The youths were traveling in a car and as claimed by the army, they did not pay heed to signals to stop at the barriers set up by the security forces,” it said.