J-K govt orders inquiry into Shopian firing incidents

KashmirDeath toll in Kashmir's Shopian town reaches 5 since Saturday. (PTI)

Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the firing incidents outside a CRPF camp in Shopian district which left five persons dead over the past five days.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Shailendra Kumar said he has asked District Magistrate, Shopian, Bashir Ahmad Bhat to conduct an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the firing incidents at Gagran village on September 7 and 11.

"I have asked the inquiry officer to submit the report within one month," Kumar said. Four persons were killed by CRPF personnel outside their camp on Saturday allegedly in retaliation to a militant attack, while another person died yesterday when the paramilitary force resorted to firing to disperse protestors outside their camp.

The people had gathered outside the camp to press for their demand for its removal and arrest of the personnel involved in the "cold-blooded murders" on Saturday. Police said three of the four persons killed in CRPF firing had no militant links. However, police also said that the fourth person killed in the firing was believed to be Lashker-e-Taiba militant Abdullah Haroon.

In another development, a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah directed Director General of State Police Ashok Prasad to replace the CRPF personnel at the Gagran Camp with a contingent of the JK Armed Police.

The Cabinet expressed grave concern over the incidents of violence in Shopian. "It also took stock of the investigation by the police into the incident of firing on September 7 at Gagran and noted with dismay that there is no clarity on the facts of the case even after five days of the incident," an official spokesman said.

He said the Cabinet directed the Police authorities to determine the facts of the case, including the identity of the so far unidentified deceased person, within the next 48 hours. "A Judicial enquiry, to be conducted by a sitting judge of the High Court, may be ordered, thereafter, in case the facts are not established," the spokesman said.

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