Jammu & Kashmir

J&K parties condemn civilian’s killing in firing

Srinagar, Nov 23: Political parties on Saturday condemned the killing of a civilian in a firing incident near an Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district and called for a probe into the incident.

Ishfaq Ahmad Ganaie was injured in the firing near the camp of the 50 Rashtriya Rifles at Chattergam area of Budgam in central Kashmir on Friday. He succumbed to injuries at a hospital here on Saturday morning, police said.

Local residents have accused the Army of opening unprovoked firing that led to Ganaie getting injured. However, defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said the Army did not open fire and the civilian was injured in a “terrorist-committed atrocity”.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed deep shock and anguish over the incident. She asked the administration to strictly ensure that the security agencies were made accountable on protecting civilians and avoiding collateral damage during operations.

In a statement, National Conference (NC) central zone president Ali Mohammad Dar said the party condemns the killing of two civilians and an Special Police Officer (SPO) in different incidents across the Valley.

Dar expressed shock and anguish over Ganaie’s killing, terming it “brutal” and a “cold-blooded murder”. The NC leader threatened to file a public interest litigation (PIL) if the administration fail to lodge an FIR in the matter and ensure exemplary punishment against the culprits.

Dar said Ganaie belonged to a poor family and was the only breadwinner for the family.

Both Mehbooba and Dar demanded an inquiry into the incident and sought compensation to the kin of the deceased.

A J&K Congress spokesperson said the confusion surrounding the firing needed to be cleared in the larger interests of public order, saying such type of incidents would further vitiate the atmosphere in Valley.

PTI

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