Separatists have called for a shutdown in the Valley over the deaths of two men in Army firing in Shopian
Srinagar: Mobile internet services have been suspended in parts of Kashmir Valley amid a shutdown call by separatists today over the death of two civilians in Army firing in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district on Saturday evening. The Army says the firing was in "self-defence" when its convoy came under "unprovoked and intense stone pelting" by a mob. The police have registered a case against the Army unit involved in the incident. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has ordered an inquiry into the incident; she also spoke to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who said that she would seek a detailed report on the incident.
Here are the latest developments in this big story:
Curfew has been imposed in parts of state capital Srinagar. Shops and business establishments are closed in most parts of the Valley; public transport is also off road due to the shutdown. Train services between Baramulla and Banihal has been suspended.
Mobile internet services have been shut down in Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian districts of south Kashmir while the speed has been reduced to 128 kbps in rest of the Valley.
Javaid Ahmad Bhat, 20, and Suhail Javid Lone, 24, were killed when security personnel opened fire to chase away protesters who were throwing stones at an Army convoy passing through Ganovpora village in Shopian district on Saturday, the police said
Defence Ministry spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said the Army administration convoy came under "unprovoked and intense stone pelting" by a group of 100-120 people on Saturday evening. "Within no time, their number swelled to 200-250 persons," Col Kalia added.
"The crowd surrounded an isolated portion of the convoy consisting of four vehicles," he said, adding that the protesters caused extensive damage to the vehicles and tried to set them on fire.
A junior commissioned officer accompanying the convoy got hit on the head and fell unconscious, the spokesperson said, adding that the mob even tried to "lynch" him and "snatch his weapon".
"Considering the extreme gravity of the situation, the army was constrained to open fire in self-defence," Col Kalia said. Seven Army personnel suffered injuries in the incident while extensive damage was caused to eleven vehicles, he said.
The opposition strongly condemned the killings. "Violence in Kabul is tragic. It s even more unfortunate when you can find words here and have none for the civilians killed in Shopian today @MehboobaMufti. You need to sort out the people managing your account," National Conference's Omar Abdullah tweeted, referring to the Chief Minister's tweet condoling the deaths in Saturday's blast in Kabul that killed at least 95 and injured over 150.
Ms Mufti, according to an official statement said, that every civilian killing, notwithstanding how "erroneously made", impairs the political process in the State which has been put on track after hard work by all political parties.
She also spoke to the Defence Minister, who assured the Chief Minister that she would impress upon the field formations that mechanisms put in place were strictly adhered to prevent such incidents.