In Pushback After Kupwara Attack, Tragedy Struck One Of Army's Own

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Mohd Yousuf Bhat was killed in firing by soldiers.

Srinagar:  For more than 30 years, Mohd Yousuf Bhat worked as a porter for the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir. But on Thursday, the 70-year-old was killed in firing by soldiers as they tried to control crowds who swarmed an army camp after a terrorist strike.

The Army said it had opened fire as the crowds of protesters threw stones when troops refused to hand over the bodies of two terrorists who attacked the army installation in Kupwara. Three soldiers, including a captain, lost their lives in the attack and two terrorists, who launched the apparent suicide attack, were also killed.

"My brother-in-law was in Army, his son is in the army. My own son is in the Army. My husband was also working in army as porter. Why did this happen to us," said Reshma Begum, Mr Bhat's wife.

Mr Bhat's family said he was not part of the protests but had gone to buy medicines when he was hit by bullets. His elder son Javid has been with the Army for 15 years now and is currently posted in Assam.

"They shot him. I feel sad because my elder brother is working in JKLI (Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry) of Army for the last 15 years," said Tariq Ahmad, Mr Bhat's younger son.

The family still fondly remembers the Army officer who helped their son Tariq to pursue his studies. And due to a deep sense of bonding with the troops, they find it hard to digest that their father was killed by Army bullets.

"A colonel had helped my brother to pursue education. Why we have to see this today," said Parveena, Mr Bhat's daughter.

Police say they have filed an FIR and are probing the incident that led to Mr Bhat's death.

"We have filed an FIR and an investigation is on. There was stone pelting and troops opened fire," Shamsher Hussain, a senior police officer in Kupwara, told NDTV.

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