Army Accepts Responsibility For Death Of Budgam Youths

The Army on Friday accepted responsibility for the killing of two youths in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district earlier this week.

“We take responsibility for what has happened… I admit that mistake has happened, otherwise why would two civilians been killed,” Army’s Northern Command chief Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda told media at a press briefing.

An inquiry has been ordered and statements of 15 civilian witnesses have been already recorded, he said, adding that the inquiry will be completed in next 10 days if all goes well.

The Ministry of Defence has approved Rs 10 lakh each for the deceased and Rs 5 lakh each for the injured as compensation. Rehabilitation of the injured youths would be taken care of by the Army, Lt. Gen. Hooda said.

“I sincerely wish that the incident of the civilian killings wouldn’t have happened. We share the sorrow of families. We will cooperate in any other inquiry in the incident,” the Northern Command chief said.

Faisal Yousuf and Mehraj-uddin were killed while Zahid Ayoub and Shakir Rehman wounded when Army jawans fired at their Maruti car on Monday at about 5 pm. Basim Amin escaped unhurt in the incident.

The killing of two youths on Monday at Chattergam village has evoked sharp reactions in the state. Political parties have called for revocation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu and Kashmir.

Following the protests over the incident, the Army has replaced 53 Rashtriya Rifles with 35 Rashtriya Rifles in Chattergam. The Army had earlier claimed that the car had refused to stop at two check posts and later barged into third check post resulting in the firing incident.

 

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