2 more civilians killed in
Kashmir’s stone pelting
FIR against Army after failed attempt of ‘Chittisinghpura-2’ in Anantnag
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Nov 6: Facing allegations of enacting “Chittisinghpura-2” well on the arrival of the US President Barack Obama in India, Army has yet again landed in the dock for violating Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) in a Sikh population village in Anantnag district, in South Kashmir, over 10 years after the massacre of 35 members of the minority community during then American President Bill Clinton’s visit to this country. Meanwhile,
Kashmir valley’s stone pelting has consumed two more civilian lives on umpteenth day of Hurriyat (Geelani)-sponsored ‘civil curfew’ today.
Authoritative sources in
South Kashmir told Early Times that five persons of three different families were on way from Zainapora to Shopian in a fresh auto without registration when a number of stone pelters began targeting the vehicle at village Nagbal. Quoting eyewitnesses and residents, officials said that the driver under attack lost the balance and his auto was seen rolling down into a deep gorge. Two commuters, namely Mohammad Ramzan Malik (50) S/o Ghulam Ahmed Malik and Javed Ahmed Bhat (25) S/o Mohammad Ismail Bhat residents of Chitragam Kalan, died and three more sustained injuries.
The injured, who were rushed to a local hospital, were identified as Mohammad Ismail Ganai S/o Ali Mohammad Ganai, Abdur Rasheed Naikoo (residents of Dekipora) and Khalid Amin Bhat S/o Mohammad Amin Bhat R/o Babapora, Shopian. One of them was later referred to a
hospital for specialized medical treatment. Srinagar
Claiming to be quoting residents, official sources said that the group of stone pelters vanished within minutes. A large number of the residents gathered and evacuated the dead and the injured while publicly condemning the incident of stone pelting that had led to the tragedy. However, this being the handiwork of the unruly youth identifying themselves with the Valley’s separatist movement, there were no condemnations from the politicians. Even the ruling National Conference’s local leader and MLC, Shoukat Hussain Ganai, who happens to a neighbour of the two civilians killed, chose to remain tightlipped.
“Miscreants were enforcing strike and resorting to stone pelting on civil vehicles in the area. These persons were traveling in a load carrier bearing chassis number-065773. The ill fated vehicle was on way to Shopian when it was heavily pelted upon by miscreants at the said place, and in the likelihood that driver losing his control over the steering and the vehicle turned turtle, which resulted in the on-spot death of Mohammad Ramzan Malik son of Ghulam Ahmad and Javaid Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Ismail, residents of Chitragam-Kalan, Zainapora and injuries to Ismail son of Ali Mohammad, Abdul Rashid Naikoo, son of Ismail residents of D.K.Pora Zainapora and Khalid Amin Bhat son of Mohammad Amin resident of Baba Pora Zainapora Shopian”, an official press release this evening said.
SP Shopian, Shahid Meraj Rather, said that a Police party reached on the spot and evacuated the dead and the injured with the support of local people to a hospital. He said that Police had registered case FIR No: 112 of 2010 dated 6-11-2010 under sections 279 and 304 RPC and the culprits would be got arrested and prosecuted under law. He said that the driver had disappeared in mysterious circumstances, leaving behind his auto, but Police were on the job to get him and take his statement. He said that residents told Police that the driver got nervous after a number of stone pelters chased him with stones and batons in their hands.
With today’s incident in Shopian, number of the civilians killed in stone pelting in the Valley since February 22 this year has reached five. Earlier this year, in similar anarchic incidents, one 11-day-old baby had died at Chakla Baramulla, a resident of Nattipora was killed while going to his office at Batmaloo and a resident of Malroo village, died when he was hit in his Tata Sumo near Boatmen Colony on the National Highway Bypass in
Over 200 civilians are estimated to have sustained injuries in similar incidents this year alone. This is all in addition to 112 civilians killed in over 1200 injured in different incidents of firing and Police/CRPF action on the demonstrators, including some arsonists.
Reports said that there were few incidents of stone pelting at Shopian and Kralpora on
Srinagar-Chadoura Road. According to these reports, another civilian family became the target of stone pelters at Kralpora and a 12-year-old girl was critically wounded in her head. She was rushed to a hospital. Police and security forces have completely failed in restoring order on Srinagar-Chadoura Road where the stone pelters, targeting civilians, have been enjoying a field day since June this year.
FIR against Army
Meanwhile, Police in the south Kashmir district of Anantnag today registered a criminal case on the complaint of residents of Hutmurra village against the troops of Rashtriya Rifles 03 Bn. Residents, comprising Sikhs as well Muslims, complained that six to ten soldiers in Army uniform appeared in a civil Tata Sumo at the Sikh population village on Anantnag-Pahalgam Road last evening and began knocking on the doors and calling the male members of the families out. While leveling allegations against Army, they expressed apprehensions that the armed soldiers had ventured into the village with the aim of “enacting Chittisinghpura-like massacre”.
South Kashmir, Shafqat Wattali, told Early Times that according to the residents’ statement, some six to ten troopers in combat uniform had appeared in the village in a privately hired Tata Sumo vehicle. Residents raised hue and cry, manhandled a driver and seized him alongwith his vehicle and later handed him over to SHO Mattan with the accusation that troops had been out on a sinister maouevring. He said that on the basis of their statement, Police Station Mattan today registered case FIR No: 400 of 2010 under sections 427, 410 etc and began the investigation. He confirmed that the residents had captured a local civil driver and seized his vehicle.
DIG said that interrogation of the driver in Police custody would unravel the truth. He said that at this stage authorities could not pre-judge things and added that Police and Civil administration were in touch with Army to learn as to why a security forces unit had violated the SOP by way of not sharing information of their night patrolling in the red alert area with Police. He said that SHO Mattan, Sub Inspector Manzoor Ahmed, would be the Investigating Officer and Additional SP of Anantnag, Meraj-ud-din, would supervise the investigation. He said that Police had assured the Sikh population as well as the resident Muslims that the investigation would be carried out in a transparent manner so as to dispel all doubts.
DIG said that in view of apprehensions of a Chittisinghpura-type incidents around the
President’s visit, Police, CRPF and Army had already created a special security grid in Mattan area as well as other Sikh and Hindu population villages. Round-the-clock joint patrolling was already underway since last week. He, however, admitted that Police and Civil Administration had no knowledge of Army’s movement in Mattan area last evening. US
Defence spokesman at headquarters 15 Corps, Lt Col Brar, when asked by Early Times for Army’s version, maintained that Army had neither issued any statement nor would make one with regard to the Hutmurra incident.
Security forces and militants have been trading charges and holding each other responsible for the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chittisinghpoura, on occasion of then
US President Bill Clinton’s visit to on March 20, 2000. Hutmurra is situated in close vicinity of Chittisinghpura. New Delhi