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Two youths' killed in firing in Budgam; Army orders probe

IANS 04 Nov 2014, 19:57:10 PM IST

Srinagar: The army Tuesday ordered an inquiry into the killing of two youths by soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district, saying "anyone found guilty will be severely dealt with".

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had termed the firing incident "highly regrettable" and assured a fair inquiry.

An army statement Tuesday expressed regret over the loss of lives in the firing.

"The army regrets the loss of lives and has ordered an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the incident. Anyone found guilty will be severely dealt with," the statement said.

Jaitley had Monday assured of action against those found guilty.

"The Budgam incident in the Kashmir Valley is highly regrettable. A fair inquiry will be held and action taken against those found guilty," Jaitley said in a tweet.

Two youths - Faisal Yusuf Bhat and Mehrajuddin Dar - were killed, while two others -Shaker Bhat and Zahid Naqash - were injured Monday evening when soldiers of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles opened fire at the car in which they were travelling in Chattergam village, 20 km from Srinagar.

The youths were from Nowgam area of Srinagar district.

The army said the car driver did not stop at a mobile vehicle check post (MVCP) when he was signalled to do so.

"Based on specific intelligence reports about the movement of terrorists in a white Maruti 800 car on Nov 3 along the Nowgam-Pulwama road, three MVCPs were established along the road.

"At approximately 5 p.m. a white Maruti 800 car approached the first check point where a personnel tried to stop the car, but it did not stop. Again at the second check point, the vehicle did not stop," the army statement said.

"At the third check point, the vehicle tried to break through the check point, resulting in a firing incident in which four people were injured."

The injured were rushed to the army base hospital in Srinagar where two succumbed to injuries.

Srinagar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Amit Kumar said the youths had no militant links.

Inspector General of Police (Kashmir zone) Abdul Ghani Bhat told IANS that a first information report (FIR) has been registered. "We have lodged an FIR in the incident and investigation has started," he said.

Meanwhile, state government sources said the Election Commission has been asked to either order an inquiry into the incident directly or allow the state government to do so, as the model code of conduct is in force in Jammu and Kashmir where assembly elections are due this month.