Thursday, February 10, 2011
Killing of a youth in Handwara
Troops Kill Handwara Youth, Massive Protests Erupt
Srinagar, Feb 05, KONS: Barely hours after the state’s unified command claimed an improvement in the situation here, Kashmir lurched dangerously again as the army gunned down a young villager in Handwara, triggering off massive protests in the area on Saturday with thousands demanding a high-level inquiry and exemplary punishment for those responsible.
The army, against whom a case of murder has been registered by the police, has expressed deep regret at the fatality, and conveyed condolence to the victim’s family, saying that he had walked into a night ambush along with another person and fled when told to surrender, prompting the troops to open fire on what they thought were militants.
But the family of Manzoor Ahmad Magray, 21, whose bullet-riddled body was recovered near a local stream this morning, claims that he was snatched from his home by the army and shot dead in a fake encounter.
The chief minister, Omar Abdullah, rushed from Jammu to the victim’s native Gund Chogal village in Handwara along with the inspector general of police (IGP) for Kashmir, SM Sahay, for condolence to the bereaved family, and assured a thorough inquiry into the killing, vowing not to allow such incidents to recur during his government.
Earlier, thousands of people from a number of villages surrounding Chogal had surged there after Magray’s body was found by the Pahru river this morning, taking the slain youth to the Kulangam Chowk to hold outraged demonstrations against the army.
Chanting death to the killers, and raising pro-freedom slogans, the massive demonstration demanded a high-level inquiry into the killing, and blocked the Sopore Kupwara Road for hours.