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Kashmir firing: Death toll touches three; Army orders probe

Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti also called for strict actions, saying such incidents have a negative impact on the govt's efforts for peace

Agencies  |  Srinagar 

Mehbooba Mufti
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti

The toll from a firing incident in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district rose to three on Wednesday as another critically injured civilian has died, officials said.

Doctors at the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in Srinagar said Raja Begum, 54, who had been admitted to the super specialty hospital on Tuesday, succumbed to a critical bullet injury.

Twenty-two year old budding cricketer Muhammad Iqbal and 21-year old Nayeem Bhat had died on Tuesday after clashes erupted in Handwara town between the security forces and a stone pelting mob.

Trouble erupted after locals alleged that a girl had been molested by an army soldier in the town.

Authorities have imposed curfew in Handwara town where tension has increased further after reports of death of another civilian reached the town.

Following appeals for a valley-wide shutdown by separatist leaders to protest Handwara firing, authorities on Wednesday imposed restrictions in six police station areas of Rainawari, Nowhatta, Khanyar, M R Gunj, Safa Kadal and Maisuma in Srinagar city on Wednesday.

District Magistrate Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone has said the imposed restrictions will not apply to the members of the Sikh community who are free to move about in areas placed under restrictions because of the Sikh festival of Baisakhi.

The Army yesterday ordered inquiry into the firing incident, as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said such incidents have a "negative impact" on the state government's efforts for peace.

The decision of holding an inquiry was conveyed by Lt Gen D S Hooda, heading the strategic Udhampur-based Northern Command, to the Chief Minister who had called him to ascretain the situation on the ground.

Expressing grief over the incident, Mehbooba called Lt Gen Hooda who informed her that the Army has already ordered an inquiry into the incident and that tangible action will be taken once the probe is completed, an official statement said.

Mehbooba said that security personnel involved in the killing of two youths in Handwara will be handed exemplary punishment, saying such incidents "cannot" be tolerated.

She said the security forces must exercise maximum restraint and adhere to the Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) while dealing with the public protests as incidents of innocent killings cannot be tolerated.

The Chief Minister has expressed solidarity with the families of the two youth killed on Tuesday, whose burial is expected to take place today.

First Published: Wed, April 13 2016. 09:30 IST