Handwara region of Kashmir remained shut on Wednesday due to a curfew that has been imposed on the area after the separatists demanded a shutdown of the Kashmir Valley to protest the army firing that killed three people.
On Tuesday, the army had opened fire on a mob, which killed three-person — Nayeem Bhatt, who is a promising cricketer, 21-year-old Mohammad Iqbal, and 70-year-old Raja Begum, who succumbed to injuries.
Let’s take a look at the development of events
The protest erupted on Tuesday afternoon in Handwara town, after the news spread of a woman being allegedly molested by an army personnel near an army camp. The news of the alleged molestation spread all across the area. As a result, a mob of around 500 people gathered and attacked the Army bunker in Handwara. They hurled stones at the army and tried to burn the bunker.
The army retaliated with open firing on them that resulted in the killing of three people.
However, a video has surfaced in the media on late Tuesday, which shows the girl alleges harassment by a boy, but she does not talk about the involvement of any army personnel. In the video, she says that the boy grabbed her bag, pulled and abused her when she went to the washroom after school. In the meantime, another youth shouted slogans and instigated violence.
Though the army has regretted the firing, but it reveals the high-handedness of the department. The army later cited the video as a proof that there was an attempt to malign the force.
In a state where AFSPA is imposed, which gives the army special powers, the army department said on Tuesday that it would conduct an investigation into the matter that led to the killings of the three people. “Army deeply regrets the unfortunate loss of life. The matter will be investigated and anybody found guilty will be dealt as per the law,” said a spokesman.
The killings triggered protests in Handwara town, Srinagar and Pulwama districts of Kashmir. Restrictions were imposed in six police station areas in the capital city of Srinagar.
The state authorities have now imposed a curfew.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had a talk with the defence ministry regarding the matter and she announced compensation for the families of the deceased. She had further told the security forces to exercise maximum restraint and adhere to the Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) in dealing with public protests as incidents of innocent killings cannot be tolerated.
A junior police officer, Sub-Inspector Rafiq Ahmad on Wednesday was suspended for “mishandling” of the law and order situation in Handwara.
Reports are now pouring that another man who succumbed injuries on Tuesday police firing, died in the hospital, where he was admitted.
The Logical Indian hopes justice is served in this case and also we believe that normalcy will be back to J&K.