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Budgam firing: Injured boy thanks army for ‘best’ medical care

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A 19-year-old boy who was seriously injured when a contingent of security forces opened firing on a vehicle he was travelling in last month in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, thanked the army hospital on Tuesday for providing him the best medical attention.”I was provided the best possible medical care here. There are good doctors and the support staff is also very caring. They gave me the best treatment and I think I would not have got such treatment somewhere else,” Zahid Bhat said, after being discharged from the Army’s Base Hospital at Badami Bagh Cantonment.A resident of Nowgam locality of the summer capital Srinagar, Bhat and his family recounted how doctors and other staff at the medical facility provided much care to them and how their perception of the force was proven wrong.”We always dreaded the army. We believed that they were not good, but my perception changed to some extent once I experienced the care here,” Bhat said.The young boy was injured in his right leg, in an army firing at Chattergam in Budgam district of Kashmir on November 3, after the vehicle in which he was travelling along with four others, allegedly failed to stop at the checking points. The army was quick to apologise for the incident that left two youths dead and injured two others including Bhat and ordered a fast-track probe into the incident. Bhat said though he was away from home, he never missed it as “it never felt like I was in an army hospital”.”My family used to visit me and my brother stayed for nights and there were two attendants from the hospital for my care,” he said.As the boy prepared to go home after about two months, Zahid said the feeling was good.”I am feeling good that I am going home. But I would go to Faisal’s (the deceased youth) home first. He was my cousin,” he said.

Kashmir seethes in anger over killing of two youth by army

Wailing relatives protest the killings at Nowgam on Tuesday

Anger has swept across the Valley a day after the army killed two youth in Chattergam village of Budgam district even as the Jammu and Kashmir police slapped murder charges against the troopers under section 302 Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).Indian army has removed the personnel alleged to be involved in the incident and moved them to the location of the enquiry headed by the deputy commander of the Rashtriya Riffles (RR) battalion.Troopers on Monday had opened fire at a Maruti car when they failed to stop at a check post near the village. Four people travelling in the vehicle received gunshot and were shifted to the army hospital by the troopers. Two of them Faisal Ahmad Bhat and Mehraj-ud-din Dar, later succumbed to their injuries and two others are undergoing treatment in the hospital.Senior superintendent of police, Budgam, Mohammad Irshad Khan said they have lodged an FIR in the incident. “We have registered a case under section 302 RPC,” he said.Violent protests rocked Nowgam area of Srinagar suburb after the bodies of two youth were laid to rest on Tuesday. Raising pro freedom slogans, the protestors pelted stones on the security forces which used smoke shells and lathi-charge to disperse the mob. The ding dong battle continued for hours even as the curfew-like situation was imposed in the area to avoid further flare up of the situation.Family members said the youth were returning home after witnessing the Muhram procession when they were shot by the army men near Chattergam. “We were gearing up for a family function on Sunday and had told Faisal to buy new curtains. On his way his friends met him and they decided to witness a Muhram procession. When they were returning, the army men asked them to stop. They applied brakes but the car skidded some feet forward. They army men then fired indiscriminately at the car,” said Muzaffar Ahmad, cousin of slain teeanger Faisal.Lieutenant Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar said based on the specific Intelligence reports about the movement of terrorists in a white Maruti 800 on November 3 along Nowgam-Pulwama road, three mobile vehicle check posts were established. “At approximately, 5 pm, a white Maruti 800 approached the first check point where the personnel tried to stop the car but it did not stop. Again at the second check point, the vehicle was stopped but it did not stop. At the third check point, the vehicle tried to barge through the check point, resulting into a firing incident in which four persons were injured,” he saidIndian army expressed regret over the loss of lives and ordered an enquiry to investigate into the circumstance leading to the incident. “Overnight, the personnel alleged to be involved in the incident were moved to the location of the enquiry. The deputy commander of a neighbouring RR Sector conducting the enquiry has been tasked to complete the investigations at the earliest. The GOC Chinar Corps has assured that justice will be done,” the defence spokesman said.The killing could not have come at a worse time as the restive Jammu and Kashmir is gearing up for the five phase polls starting November 25. The killing has given separatists a handle to hit out at the pro India politicians to enforce poll boycott in Jammu and Kashmir.”The incident which happened during the days of Ashura rekindled memories and scenes of Karbala in Kashmir. People should observe complete shutdown on Wednesday against the barbarism committed,” said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference.Sensing trouble, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah spoke to the defence minister Arun Jaitley and told him that these deaths have served to vitiate the poll atmosphere already strained by the post flood reconstruction challenge that people face.”Defence minister has assured a time bound transparent inquiry into the incident to ensure action if wrong doing is established. Justice in these cases should be swift and effective so that there is no cynicism in the minds of the people when it comes to their faith in the institutions of justice,” said Omar.Main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the prime minister Narendra Modi to intervene and put a stop to the unaccounted killings in Kashmir. “Continued use of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has generated an all pervading sense of impunity among the security forces. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must use his decisive mandate as an opportunity to open a new chapter in Jammu and Kashmir by taking steps to revoke the AFSPA,” said Mehbooba Mufti, PDP president.

Clashes in Srinagar over killing of youths in army firing

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Clashes broke out between protestors and security forces in Nowgam area of the city over killing of two youths in army firing in Budgam district of Kashmir on Tuesday, even as authorities imposed restrictions on the movement of the people as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.Groups of youth started pelting stones at police personnel posted on law and order duty in Nowgam area minutes after the two deceased youth — both local residents — were laid to rest, police said.Cops used tear smoke shells to chase away the protestors but intermittent clashes were going on in the area, the police said.So far there were no reports of any one getting hurt in the clashes.Two youth were killed and two others injured, who were travelling in a car, when they were fired upon by army personnel in Chattergam area of Budgam district at 5 PM yesterday.The army had claimed that the youths did not pay heed to signals to stop at three barriers set up by security forces.”Three motor vehicle check points were established along the route to nab the militants. The car in which these youth were travelling did not stop at two check points when they were flagged down. They even broke through the third barrier at Chattergam leading to the security forces opening firing on them,” Army said in a statement.The Army has ordered a court of inquiry into the incident to ascertain the facts even as it regretted the loss of lives in the incident.Police also has lodged an FIR into the incident and started investigations.

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