Trehgam killing: Case against army, probe begins

Report by Aug 12

Kupwara, Publish Date: Jul 13 2018 12:51AM | Updated Date: Jul 13 2018 2:16AM
Trehgam killing: Case against army, probe beginsFile Photo

On government orders about inquiring the circumstances leading to the death of a young man in Trehgam on Wednesday, the district magistrate Khalid Jehangir on Thursday appointed Additional District Commissioner of Handwara Muzaffar Hussain as the inquiry officer and asked him to complete the probe within a month. Police has already registered an FIR against the army under section 307 RPC (attempt to murder). A police official said the FIR 46/ 2018 has been lodged under sections 147, 148, 323, 306, 307, RPC at police station Trehgam. Meanwhile the army spokesman while clarifying said the soldiers had first warned the mob verbally, and then fired blank rounds and ultimately “when the mob had grown fiercer the soldiers had to fire in self defense.”  

According to an eyewitness Khalid Gaffar Malik, 22, was grievously injured when a bullet hit him as he was sitting at his shop front, watching clashes between the army and the protesters. The army, the eyewitness said, fired at the agitated mob. Khalid was shifted to Srinagar in a critical condition but he died on way to SKIMS.

A police official said that an FIR has been lodged against the army under Section 307 RPC (attempt to murder).

The Srinagar-based army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia in a statement said,  “A mob of 30-40 youth resorted to heavy stone pelting at the army’s highway domination patrol located at Trehgam on Wednesday evening as an Army convoy was passing through the area.”

The Patrol, reads the statement, verbally cautioned the stone throwers and thereafter fired two blank rounds in air to disperse the violent crowd. “The mob didn't relent and stone pelting intensified endangering the safety of patrol. During the stone pelting, five soldiers sustained injuries. The patrol, finally, resorted to controlled fire at the aggressive mob in self defense and continued with their task. Even earlier in the day, stone pelters had resorted to stone pelting at military vehicles at Trehgam and Kralpora.” 

Meanwhile, the State Human Rights Commission has sought reports from deputy commissioner and SSP Kupwara on a petition, seeking directions to find "real facts" into the killing of Trehgam youth.

Condemning the killing of the youth in "direct" army firing at Trehgam on Wednesday, International Forum For Justice Human Rights JK Chairman Mohammad Ahsan Untoo said that the SOP has been violated in the region and that was why the killings were happening on a daily basis.

"Are bullets the answer to stones," Untoo asked. He said that the Chief Secretary, DGP, Chief of the army staff and DCs and SPs of the respective districts particularly in the Valley are "responsible" for the non-stop killings.

Hearing the petition (SHRC/234/ Kup/2018 dated 12/07/2018) filed by Human Rights defender Ahsan Untoo, Chairperson of State Human Rights Commission, and Justice (Rtd) Bilal Nazki issued a notice to SSP Kupwara and Deputy Commissioner Kupwara and asked them to submit the detailed compliance report before the commission by or before August 20.

Untoo said that the commission has also sought an explanation on procedures adopted with regard to SOP.

"The civilian killings and injuries are the outcome of irresponsible action by the security forces," Untoo said.


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