Ascertaimn facts: army
Anantnag: A youth was killed and another injured after army opened fire on civilians protesting against the army in Kulgam district on Monday.
The slain youth, hit in his chest with a bullet, has been identified as Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, son of Bashir Ahmad. The injured youth has been identified as Rayees Ahmad, son of Ghulam Qadir.
Both belong to Akhran Nowpora village of Kulgam district, where the incident happened.
Akhran is the native village of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s mother. Mufti spent the initial years of her life in the village at her uncle and PDP leader Sartaj Madani’s home.
The incident took place at about 7:20 PM Monday.
Local sources and eyewitnesses told Kashmir Reader that protests erupted in the area against army high-handedness that villagers said they have been suffering for the past few days now.
“They come with a Casper vehicle, park it at the same spot, and start harassing villagers by asking for their identity proofs and checking their mobile phones,” the locals alleged of the army’s behaviour.
They said that the army men make local youth stand near their vehicle for hours at a stretch, without any reason.
“They kept with them mobile phones of some youth and used foul language with the young boys,” they said.
Today, locals said, as the army continued with their new routine, some youth objected to it, leading to an altercation and subsequent stone-pelting by the youth.
“As soon as stones were pelted, army men opened fire injuring at least two youths,” sources said.
The injured youth were rushed to Anantnag district hospital, where one of them was declared brought dead.
“One of them, Aijaz Ahmad, was brought dead with a bullet injury to his chest. Another has a bullet wound to his right arm and is being treated right now,” Medical Superintendent (MS) of the district hospital, Dr Majid Mirab, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the body of the slain youth was handed over to his family at the hospital.
This is the third civilian killing in less than a week’s time in south Kashmir. Earlier, a civilian was killed in army firing in Pulwama district and another succumbed on the day of Eid in Anantnag town to his pellet wounds.
Meanwhile, SSP Kulgam, Harmeet Sigh, did not attend repeated calls by this reporter.
However, Army spokesman, Rajesh Kalia, told Kashmir Reader that details were being ascertained regarding the incident.