2 injured in separate firing incidents succumb
Omar, Mehbooba demand probe into Budgam civilian’s killing
Srinagar, Nov 24: A civilian, injured in a firing incident near an Army camp in Budgam district of Central Kashmir, succumbed to injuries on Saturday. Another girl who was injured in a shootout in South Kashmir’s Kulgam on Thursday also passed away.
Ishfaq Ahmad Ganaieof Magrayporawas injured in the firing near the camp of Army’s 50 Rashtriya Rifles unit at Chattergam area of Budgam in central Kashmir on Friday, a police official said.
He said Ganaie succumbed at the SMHS Hospital here Saturday morning.
Local residents had accused the Army of opening unprovoked fire that led to Ganaie getting injured. They said troops had laid an ambush near Zinnipora crossing and fired at Ganaie when he was passing the area on his motorbike.
However, Srinagar-based defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said the Army did not open fire and the civilian was injured in a “terrorist committed atrocity”.
“In a case of terrorist committed atrocity, Ishfaq Ahmad Ganie of Magraypora was shot at by the terrorists, 500-600 metres away from Army camp at Chhatargam,” Kalia said in a statement.
He said when the Army troops heard the sound of the firing, the Quick Reaction Team immediately rushed towards the direction of the fire to find out what was happening.
“When the party reached the spot, they saw Ishfaq in a pool of blood. He had bullet injuries, one in head and the other in leg and was immediately taken to Chhatargam hospital from where doctors shifted him to SMHS,” Kalia said.
The defence spokesperson said the reports of “the individual lobbing a grenade on the Army camp and the Army retaliation are completely baseless”.
Police have registered a case and initiated investigations in the matter, the police official said.
Meanwhile, in another incident, the official said a girl, critically injured in a shootout in Khudwani area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Thursday morning, succumbed at a hospital here Saturday.
Muskan Jan, a resident of Wangud-Qaimoh was injured in cross-firing when militants attacked an Army camp at Khudwani in the wee hours on Thursday, the official said.
“The Army retaliated, leading to a brief exchange of firing. Muskan was caught in the crossfire and sustained bullet injury,” he said.
She was taken to the SMHS Hospital where she succumbed on Saturday, the official said.
Meanwhile, former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday sought a probe into the killing of a man in a firing incident in central Kasmir’sBudgam district last night.
Omar Abdullah asked the government to end ambiguity surrounding the killing of Ishfaq Ahmed Ganaie of Magraypora near an Army camp in Chattergam, Budgam.
“Conflicting reports of the circumstances surrounding Ishfaq Ahmed’s shooting. It’s imperative that the administration establish the factual position to the satisfaction of the people, especially Ishfaq’s family. May Ishfaq find his place in Jannat,” tweeted Abdullah.
Mehbooba Mufti, in a statement, expressed “deep shock and anguish” over the killing of Ishfaq Ahmad Ganaie asked the Governor’s administration to strictly ensure that security agencies were made accountable for protecting civilians and avoiding collateral damage during operations.
She demanded an inquiry into the incident and also sought compensation to the victim’s family.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader M Y Tarigami demanded an immediate end to civilian killings in the Kashmir Valley.
“The unabated civilian killings in Kashmir must be a cause of concern for every right-thinking person in the state and the country,” Tarigami said.
Three civilians, including a 14-year-old girl, were killed in Kashmir in the last three-days.
Expressing heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, he said the killings were “highly condemnable”.
“Killing of civilians can never be a solution to any problem. Whether a civilian is killed by the bullet from one side or the other side, it is a loss of precious human life,” he said.
“Whose cause is fulfilled by such killings? Unfortunately, it is a Kashmiri who is getting killed every day,” he added.
Tarigami alleged that by targeting civilians, the parties involved in the conflict were deriving sadistic pleasure.
The situation calls for immediate de-escalation from all sides, he said.