Home Jammu Kashmir Two civilians killed in army firing after stone-pelters target convoy in J&K

Two civilians killed in army firing after stone-pelters target convoy in J&K

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(G.N.S) Dt. 27

Srinagar

Two civilians were killed after security forces fired at protesters in self-defence in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday, the Indian Army said.

A group of 100-120 stone pelters targeted a convoy at Ganaupura Chowk around 3pm and tried to set vehicles ablaze, the army said in a statement.

The army said the number of protesters “swelled to 200-250”, and they “caused extensive damage” to vehicles in an isolated part of the convoy.

A junior commissioned officer got hit on the head and fell unconscious suffering serious injury even as the mob tried to lynch him and snatch his weapon, it said.

The army said it was forced to open fire considering “the extreme gravity of the situation”.

“A total of seven army men suffered injuries and extensive damage was caused to eleven vehicles,” the statement said, adding two civilians were killed in the incident.

Initially, the Jammu and Kashmir police said a civilian was killed in the firing, though a health official pegged the death toll at three.

The Valley’s joint separatist leadership called a complete shutdown across Kashmir on Sunday to condemn the incident, which might spark fresh protests in the militancy-hit state where stone-pelting demonstrators have targeted security forces for the encounter killings of local youth involved in insurgency.

Local news agency GNS reported that Baseer Khan, the divisional commissioner of the Kashmir Range, asked officials to probe the incident.

Kashmir Valley has been on the boil since the July 2016 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was from Kashmir. Protests erupted on streets, with residents clashing with forces in what Pakistan termed human rights violations by India.

New Delhi, which blames Islamabad for fomenting trouble in the disputed state, has appointed an interlocutor for the peace process even as security forces have stepped up operations against militants.

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