Delegations visit Shopian victim families, injured

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The murder charges have been slapped on the Indian army by the Jammu and Kashmir administration that has come under huge fire for not being able to stop civilian casualties in encounters between the security forces and insurgent groups seeking freedom of Kashmir from India.

Two youth were killed and another critically injured in army firing in Gunowpora village of Shopian district on Saturday last.

Police had filed an FIR against a Major and some jawans on the same day and the cross-FIR was registered on January 28.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has vowed to take the police investigation to its "logical conclusion". "Dismiss that government. Tell Mehbooba (Mufti) to withdraw the FIR else her government would be toppled".

Ganai's death takes the toll of civilian deaths in conflict-related incidents this month to five in Kashmir.

However, a defence ministry spokesman said that Army opened fire in self defence after a mob pelted stones on their vehicles in which 7 personnel, including a officer, were injured.

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"It is unfortunate that FIR has been lodged against army unit and Major and no FIR has been registered against stone pelters", Gupta said. The burial of the youth will take place and we are monitoring the situation.

"We have received (the) army's version of the complaint and it has been made part of the file", Hindustan Times quoted Shopian senior superintendent of police Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar saying.

The Indian Army in its statement claimed that the forces had to open fire in self-defence to prevent lynching of a junior commissioned officer by a mob.

Gupta rued that none of the Kashmiri leaders appealed against the obstruction of security operations to save the valley from destruction, he said. "But naming the Army personnel in the FIR (without completion of the inquiry) and levelling serious offences should not have been done", he said. "If she doesn't give a clarification by February 2, I will ask it in the House", said Swamy.

Delegations of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League and Muslim League also visited the hospital and enquired about the health of the injured.