One killed as army opens fire on stone-pelters in Kashmir

One person was killed and another injured when the army opened fire on stone pelters in Trehgam Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir. Police said the incident is being investigated.

Locals said the army opened fire on protestors in Trehgam Kupwara injuring two youths, of which one succumbed to injuries later. He has been identified as Khalid Ahmad, 21, a shopkeeper by profession.

Locals said the soldiers opened fire on Wednesday evening when a few army vehicles came under stone pelting.

An army spokesman said that a mob of 30-40 youths resorted to heavy stone pelting at a patrol unit as it was passing through the area.

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

Meanwhile, apprehensive of protests, all schools and colleges in Kupwara district will remain closed on Thursday.

The incident took place a day after a civilian was killed and 123 injured in Shopian while villagers were trying to rescue holed-up militants. Two militants were killed in the encounter.

Since Governor’s rule was imposed in J&K, nine civilians have been killed either close to the encounter sites or in army or police firing. Last week, three civilians including a 16-year-old girl were killed and two others were injured in Kulgam district while army was patrolling in the village.

After the killing of civilians on Saturday, Governor NN Vohra had asked top army and police officials to adhere to standard operating procedures and avoid civilian deaths. Meanwhile, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for a day-long strike on Wednesday to protest against the killing of civilians in Kashmir. Complete shutdown was observed against these civilian killings.

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