Case of ‘murder’ in Kupwara against army

Srinagar: Police at Kralpora registered a case of murder against army soldiers on Friday for the killing of a civilian during clashes in Panzgam village on Thursday.
Army soldiers had shot dead a civilian, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, in Kupwara’s Panzgam village when clashes broke out following demands by people for the bodies of militants who had stormed an army camp in Panzgam on Thursday morning, killing 3 soldiers, including an officer.
Station House Officer, Kralpora police station, Wasim Ahmad said that FIR number 25/2017 under Section 307 (attempt to murder) was registered against “security forces (army)” on Friday but the case was later changed to Section 302 (murder).
“As curfew was imposed here (in Kupwara) today (on Friday), we will be starting our investigation from tomorrow (Saturday),” Ahmad said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Shamsher Hussain told Kashmir Reader that a case has been lodged at police station Kralpora and the investigation has been taken up.
“We will record the statements of witnesses, locals, and soldiers to ascertain as to what led to the killing of the civilian. The investigation has been initiated,” Hussain said.
Bhat died on the spot when he was hit by a bullet after army opened fire on people who were demanding the bodies of the slain militants.
As per locals and witnesses, there were minor clashes going on at the time and a few youth had tried to march towards the army camp where the bodies of the militants had been kept.
“It was not an extreme situation where firing bullets on protesters would have been justified. He (Bhat) was one among many elders who were stopping youths from marching towards the camp. But the army unnecessarily fired on them,” local witnesses said.
Bhat was the 19th civilian killed by government troops this year.