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Kashmir on the boil again, death toll in army firing rises to three, Army refutes charges of rape

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People gather around the bodies of two men killed in army firing in Handwara of Jammu and Kashmir

Army has ordered an enquiry into the firing that led to the killing of three persons in Srinagar after chief minister Mehbooba Mufti came down heavily against the alleged indiscriminate use of force by the security forces. Chief minister who is in Delhi has expressed anguish and told that such incidents can’t be tolerated. She told Lt. Gen D S Hooda that such behavior from the security forces will jeopardise her governments attempt to consolidate peace efforts in the state. Meanwhile death toll in yesterday’s firing rose to three with one more person succumbing to injuries at the hospital.

According to the police the army resorted to firing after a group of around 500 people who were protesting against the molestation of a young college girl allegedly by the security forces stated pelting stones against them. The local administration has imposed curfew in Handwara town after the incident. Various organisations has called for bandh against the firing.

Refuting charges of rape the army  today morning has come out with a video in which the college girl is said to be complaining against a local for attempting to rape her.

Among those killed are a young promising cricketer Naeem Bhatt aged 18 and 70 year old women Raja Bhegum. Muhamed Iqbal succumbed to injuries today early morning. The funerals are expected to take place today
Mehbooba who is on her maiden visit to the national capital after taking over as chief minister condemned the incident and asked security forces to adhere to the Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) while dealing with the public protests. She said exemplary punishments should be given to the responsible security personnel who were involved in the firing. Lt Gen D S Hooda told the chief minister that army has already ordered an enquiry and action will be taken after the it is completed

Various mainstream political parties have also demanded strong action against the culprits. National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah has said that the state government should ensure that the guilty is brought to the book after speedy enquiry. State congress chief G A Mir has also condemned the army firing. CPIM central committee member and MLA from the Jammu and Kashmir has demanded a judicial enquiry into the firing which took three lives.
Indian security forces are often criticised by various human rights organisations for resorting to extra judicial methods to quell insurgency. Various political parties in the state including the PDP have demanded the abrogation of AFPSA which protects the security forces even if they have resorted to extra judicial methods to deal with the extremists

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