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J&K: Police to investigate deaths of three civilians


On Saturday, 7th July 2018, Three civilians, including a 16-year-old girl, were killed when soldiers opened fire on stone-throwing protesters in South Kashmir’s Redwani village as stress was about to explode in the Valley ahead of the second death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. To avoid civilian casualties the incident prompted governor NN Vohra to caution security forces to observe standard operating procedures.

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In Kulgam district, Army troops entered Redwani, to conduct a search operation for suspected militants and beat up a group of young men, angering residents who came out onto the streets and started hurling stones on the soldiers, said eyewitnesses.

“It was around 11.30am when soldiers entered our village and started beating some youth. The villagers tried to stop them by raising slogans and pelted stones. The army directly opened fire that left more than eight villagers injured. Later, three of them died in the hospital,” said Mohammad Ashraf, a Redwani resident. “This incident could have been avoided had the army shown some maturity.”

A police spokesperson disputed the account and said the security forces were provoked into responding by “miscreants.” A government doctor said the dead included two men aged 20 and 22 years and a 16-year-old girl.

Also Read: J&K: Police constable abducted in Shopian found dead

Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra convened a high level meeting at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar soon after the incident, to review the security situation in the Valley. On June 20, a day after chief minister and People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti quit following the pullout of the Bharatiya Janata Party from the coalition government she led, J&K came under Governor’s Rule.

The incident took place on the eve of the second anniversary of the death of Wani, the 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander who was killed by security forces on July 8, 2016, sparking off sustained and widespread protests in Kashmir that have so far claimed the lives of at least 100 civilians, with last year the deadliest in the region in the past decade.

On Sunday to commemorate the death, separatist leaders have called for a shutdown and in an effort to stop coordinated protests, officials cut mobile internet services in most parts of Kashmir.

In the afternoon, the dead were laid to rest with hundreds of people from neighbouring villagers gathering at Hawoora in Redwani and shouting anti-India slogans.

Also Read: Army opens fire on protesters claiming lives of three civilians including a teenage girl in J&K

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