Srinagar, Nov 4: The army has ordered an inquiry into the killing of two youths by its soldiers in a firing incident in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam district, a statement said on Tuesday. “Army regrets the loss of lives and has ordered an inquiry into the circumstance leading to the incident. Anyone found guilty will be severely dealt with,” a statement issued by the army said.
Two youths identity as Faisal Yusuf Bhat and Mehrajuddin Dar were killed, while two others –Shaker Bhat and Zahid Naqash — were injured Monday evening when soldiers of 53 Rashtriya Rifles opened fire on the Maruti car they were travelling in at Chattergam village in Badgam district, 20 km from Srinagar. The youths belonged to the Nowgam area of Srinagar district.
The army said the driver of the car did not stop at a mobile vehicle check post (MVCP) after he was signalled to do so. “Based on specific intelligence reports about the movement of terrorists in a white Maruti 800 car on Nov 3 along Nowgam-Pulwama road, three MVCPs were established along the road.
“At approximately 5 p.m. a white Maruti 800 car approached the first check point where a personnel tried to stop the car, but it did not stop. Again at the second check point, the vehicle did not stop,” the statement said. “At the third check point, the vehicle tried to break through the check point, resulting into a firing incident in which four people were injured.”
The injured were rushed to the army base hospital in Srinagar where two succumbed to injuries. Amit Kumar, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Srinagar, said the youths had no militant links. Abdul Ghani Bhat, inspector general of police (IGP) Kashmir zone, told IANS that a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered in the case. “We have lodged an FIR in the incident and investigation has been started,” the IGP said. Meanwhile, sources in the state government said the Election Commission of India has been asked to either order an inquiry into the incident directly or allow the state government to do so, as the model code of conduct is in force in Jammu and Kashmir where assembly elections are due this month.