Locals say the army had come to vandalise militant’s house; army says a mob attacked them
Anantnag: A 15-year-old youth was killed and a 28-year-old woman injured after army soldiers opened fire on people protesting against alleged vandalism of the house of a local militant, here in Pulwama district on Friday evening.
The slain youth has been identified as Viqas Ahmad Rather, son of Ghulam Qadir Rather, resident of Nowpora village in Lassipora area of Pulwama district.
“He was shot in the abdomen and had lost too much blood when we referred him to SMHS in Srinagar,” Medical Superintendent of Pulwama District Hospital, Dr Abdul Rasheed Parra, told Kashmir Reader.
Viqas died on way to the Srinagar hospital.
SSP Pulwama Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam confirmed that the youth had succumbed to his injuries. “Yes, he has succumbed,” Aslam told Kashmir Reader. “The injured woman is stable.”
The injured woman has been identified as Ruqaiya, daughter of Ghulam Muhammad Magray, also a resident of Nowpora village.
The firing incident took place at about 6:15 PM Friday evening.
According to local sources, army soldiers had come to the house of a local militant, Abid Ahmad Magray alias Shuja, of the Hizbul Mujahideen.
“As they tried to vandalise his house and harass his family members, announcements were made on mosque loudspeakers urging locals to come out,” local sources said.
They said that the army opened fire when they sensed people were coming out in huge numbers and were marching towards the house of the militant.
“Two people were injured in the firing,” the local sources told Kashmir Reader.
The Pulwama SSP gave a different version of the incident, based on army inputs. He acknowledged that the army had fired in the area, injuring two persons.
“The army has maintained that their party was returning from a nearby village after distributing sweets on the occasion of Eid, when they encountered a road block laid by some miscreants,” Aslam said.
He said that the army men had stones hurled at them as soon as they disembarked from their vehicle to clear the roadblock.
“Two people have been injured in the firing. One of them has been shifted to Srinagar in a critical condition,” Aslam said.
The army said in its statement: “Army personnel were conducting an Area Domination Patrol in a MPV. The road at Naupora was blocked due to 3-4 cars being parked on the wrong side of the road. Army personnel got off their vehicle to request the drivers/ owners to move the cars. The house reportedly belonged to Aabid Manzoor Magray. On seeing the Army personnel, a huge crowd gathered at the site and started pelting stones and closing on to the troops, endangering the safety of the troops and government property. The troops cautioned the crowd verbally. However, the mob turned violent and tried to overpower the troops. Army personnel resorted to aerial firing, extricated themselves and continued with their patrol.”