The Jammu and Kashmir police have filed a case and promised a fair probe while the Army assured cooperation into investigations after two civilians were killed in firing outside an army camp in Rajouri yesterday. The killings triggered massive protests with angry demonstrators throwing stones at the camp, blaming the Army for the killings.
The victims were identified as Surinder Kumar and Kamal Kishore, said the Army. Another man, Anil Kumar – a resident of Uttarakhand, was also injured in the incident. The victims, who were labourers at the camp, were approaching the base when they were fired at.
The army had said both the civilians were killed in terrorist firing. “In an early morning firing incident by unidentified terrorists at Rajouri near Military Hospital, there has been fatal casualty of two individuals. The police, security forces and civil administration officials are on the site,” they had said.
But hundreds of protesters blocked the Jammu-Poonch highway, demanding action against army guards whom they accused of the killings. A senior army officer later assured them that the Army will cooperate in the investigations and also help the families of the victims.
“An FIR has been registered. A thorough probe will be conducted. Whatever will be the findings of the probe will be shared. We assure the people that there will be a fair probe into the matter,” said Haseeb Mugal, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Rajouri-Poonch.
Ravinder Raina, president of BJP state unit, demanded a Court of inquiry into the killings. He said he’s hopeful the army will maintain highest standards and respond accordingly to the allegations.
“Like in the past, when some civilians were killed in Shopian, Army conducted a Court of Inquiry and those involved were taken to task,” said Mr Raina. “I have full faith in the Army that in this unfortunate and painful incident, the Army’s Northern Command will think over it and take action under its own court of inquiry,” he added.
In July 2020, three labourers from Rajouri were killed in a staged encounter in Shopian and passed off as Pakistani terrorists. A subsequent Court of Inquiry by the Army indicted its men, including an army officer, for killing the innocent men.
Mr Raina further said he’s hopeful that the Jammu and Kashmir administration and the Army will help the victims’ families.
All political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have condemned yesterday’s killings and demanded an impartial probe.
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