Army admits mistake in Kashmir killings

The Army admitted that the killing of two youths in J&K's Budgam district by soldiers on November 3 was a “mistake“ and a violation of the rules of engagement. It said it would complete its inquiry in 10 days and ta ke action against the guilty. The defence ministry has announced a compensation of Rs.10 lakh each to the families of the deceased, aged 14 and 21, and Rs.5 lakh each to those injured in the firing by soldiers of 53 Rashtriya Rifles.
“I admit a mistake happened. Why else would two civilian boys have been killed like this?“ Northern Army commander Lt General D S Hooda told media at the 15th Corps headquarters in Badami Bagh cantonment. “We sincerely wish the killing of civilians hadn't happened. We share the sorrow of the families,“ Hooda added. Admitting that soldiers had gunned down the two Budgam boys by mistake, Northern Army commander Lt General D S Hooda on Friday said, “There was some information about a white car with terrorists. Obviously , the identity was mistaken in this case. We take responsibility for the deaths.“
However, SHO of Chadoora police station, Arshid Ahmed refuted the Army's claim about the information about terrorists. “I don't know from where the Army got inputs about militants, but me and my police station had no such inputs. Maybe my seniors had the information, but I did not have it at all,“ he said.
GoC 15 Corps, Lt Gen Subrata Saha, admitted that there was a violation of rules of engagement. “We are questioning ourselves why the firing took place and why rules were not followed,“ Saha said.
Faisal Yusuf Bhat, 14, and Mehrajuddin Dar, 21, were killed and two others injured in Chhattergam village on November 3 when the soldiers of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles fired on their speeding car. The Army had claimed the car had jumped two mobile vehicle check posts set up following specific information about terrorists in a car. A fifth boy, who survived the hail of bullets, claimed a clutch of soldiers fired at the car when it didn't stop immediately .
Defence spokesman Col Brijesh Pandey said the injured youth had disclosed that there were five of them in the car. The boy , who has been identified as Wasim Amin, had escaped after the firing.Sources said many in the Army believe that the soldiers not only violated the standard operating procedure, but ruined the goodwill it had earned during the recent floods.

No comments: