Shopian killings reverberate in Assembly, Question Hour adjourned 

Jammu: Noisy protests in the Assembly on Monday forced the Speaker to adjourn the Question Hour to discuss death of two civilians in alleged firing by security forces in Shopian district on Saturday.

Amid noisy scenes from the Opposition benches, the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti requested the speaker Kavinder Gupta to allow the discussion, leading to the adjournment of the Question Hour.

“What has happened (in Shopian) is unfortunate … some members want to discuss the issue, there should be a discussion. It is the right of the house to allow the discussion,” Mehbooba said.

Earlier, the opposition members from National Conference, Congress and CPI(M), supported by ruling PDP legislators from Shopian, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat and Sonawar Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, rose on on their feet soon after the House assembled this morning.

With pictures of Shopian incident in their hands, the members moved the adjournment motion to discuss the prevailing law and order situation and raised slogans in support of their demand.

The Speaker asked them to take their seats, assuring that a discussion after the Question hour but the opposition did not budge from its demand prompting intervention by the Chief Minister.

CPI (M) legislator M Y Trigami said there is only one question, why these killings? This is the biggest question.

Two youths were allegedly killed and nine others injured in Army firing at Ganovpora in Shopian on Saturday when a stonepelting mob targeted a convoy.

The police has registered a case against Army personnel involved in the firing incident and the state government has also ordered a magisterial probe into the incident and sought a report within 20 days even as a defence spokesman maintained that the soldiers opened fire in self-defence.

The Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti later assured the Legislative Assembly that the probe ordered into the killing of two civilians at Shopian two days ago would be taken to logical conclusion.

Winding up the discussion on an Adjournment Motion on these killings in the House, the Chief Minister said nobody countenances such killings which only impairs and slow down the political process in the State.

She said immediately after the incident took place an FIR was lodged against the guilty and the Deputy Commissioner, Shopian was ordered to conduct a magisterial probe and come up with its report within 15 days.

Mehbooba Mufti said within moments of learning about the incident she rang up Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi who, she said, shared her anguish and assured to take appropriate measures. She said Army as an institution has done a great job but the grace of an institution only enhances once the black sheep within are identified and weeded out.

The Chief Minister said during her Unified Headquarters meetings she has been stressing upon all security agencies to exercise maximum restraint and ensure that no collateral damage takes place while operating.

Sharing the concern of the House over the civilian killings, the Chief Minister said the entire State is anguished over the killings, which she said, have the potential to impair the political process in the State.

Mehbooba Mufti said incidents like Shopian remind us that we cannot afford confrontation at any level and there is an urgent need to engage in a meaningful dialogue at all levels. She said there is no alternative to dialogue within the State and between India and Pakistan because it is the people of Jammu & Kashmir who are facing the brunt of this acrimony and paying in terms of human and material losses.

The Chief Minister said it was satisfying to note that the House was unanimous in advocating dialogue, reconciliation and peaceful means to sort out differences. She appealed all political parties to maintain consistency in this regard adding that the failures in dialogue in past are no reason not to undertake fresh peace initiatives.


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