Enquiring Shopian Killing

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The government’s decision to hold a magisterial enquiry into the killing of a youth at Turkawangam in district Shopian is apt as well as prompt. The decision should be appreciated by one and all. As reported by the media one Shoib Ah Ganie S/O Gh Mohd R/O Turkwangam, Shopian was critically injured in a firing incident and later succumbed to his injuries on Sunday. Police, while giving details  said that terrorists opened fire on a joint party of police and CRPF near the bridge connecting Litter Pulwama with Turkwangam, Shopian and during the exchange of fire, the civilian got injured, was shifted to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. However, locals contradicted the police claim. They alleged that the security forces were looking for somebody and during the searches, Ganai raised his both arms for security check but they fired at him. The locals also staged protests following the incident and it was in response to the claims made by the locals that the government ordered a magisterial probe. The District Magistrate (DM) Shopian ordered a magisterial enquiry that shall be conducted by Additional District Magistrate, Shopian and be completed in a given time frame. Government asserted that following the probe committee report, suitable action under law shall be taken.

We, in these columns, have repeatedly been condemning civilian killing, no matter who is behind such killings. Police and security forces are here to protect the life and limb of citizenry. Agreed that these forces, at times, face precarious situations but that is what they are trained for to deal with. This incident has raised many eyebrows as there are no witnesses who could authenticate the Police statement regarding terrorists targeting the nakka party. Therefore the magisterial enquiry should be held in a transparent manner to get the real story to the fore. Agreed, the forces have been fighting a tiring battle against terrorism but that doesn’t give them license to target unarmed and innocent civilians.

Post August 05, 2019 thankfully there has been a sharp decrease in civilian killings in Kashmir. Kashmir has witnessed worst phases of civilian killings in 2009, 2010 and 2016. Hundreds fell to bullets and pellets most of them young people. However, post 2019, there have been no such killings and this very fact is being appreciated by one and all. In such a positive atmosphere, the killing has come as a shocker. Need is that the killing is probed thoroughly and responsibility fixed. The circumstances in which the civilian was shot dead are fishy and therefore a proper investigation is the only way to get to the truth. Unearthing the truth behind the incident won’t bring back the slain but by doing so the administration will do justice to the victim family and uphold the law of the land. We live in a democracy and our constitution is a sacred document that upholds the sanctity of human rights. Right to life is a fundamental right and no one should snatch this right.

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