Srinagar, April 7: Two civilians sustained bullet injuries in leg following an altercation between locals and army while later was making video of afternoon prayers in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Thursday.
Eyewitnesses said that when the people were entering inside Masjid at Jamia Jadeed Main Chowk Handwara, army soldiers were making their video.
There was firing and two civilians were injured and sustained bullet wounds in leg.
A top police officer said that soldiers of 21 RR had gone to Jamia Masjid Handwara for video making of Namaz (prayers). “Some people objected and then there was altercation between army and civilians,” the officer said, adding, “During altercation there has been accidental fire and two persons received injury in leg. Both are stable.”
The injured identified as Abdul Ahad Mir from Rajwar and Mujeeb Ahmad Sofi from Handwara, have been hospitalized.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) also condemned an incident of firing allegedly by Army personnel. “Security forces barging into religious places, profiling worshippers and shooting civilians at will without any fear of justice is the level of unaccountablity pervasive across J&K. Rather than moving forward, Kashmir seems to have been taken back to 90s again,” a PDP spokesperson said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, in a statement defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel Emron Musavi said that troops of 21 RR were on routine patrol in Handwara town. “In view of _Iftar_ party planned by the army near the Town Chowk, the troops at about 1.30 PM took few photos of Jamia Masjid, Handwara to showcase happiness and offering of prayers during the holy month of Ramzan,” he said. “Thereafter they requested a local to get few photos from inside. It is when the local person was going to take photos, some rogue elements protested, and instigated others to get into an altercation with the troops.”
The defence spokesman said that while attempting to pacify them, two-three individuals got into a scuffle with the troops wherein there was an accidental discharge of the weapon, injuring two civilians identified as Abdul Ahad Mir of Rajwar and Mujeeb Ah Sofi of Handwara.
“The crowd was pacified and police in vicinity arrived to control the situation jointly. The crowd was subsequently dispersed and the market was opened for routine activity,” the spokesman said. “Both the injured civilians were evacuated to Dist Hosp, Handwara & are reported stable.”