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J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti Calls Up Nirmala Sitharaman Over Firing On Stone-Pelters

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| January 28 , 2018 , 12:37 IST

In a considerable setback to the stone-pelting situation in Jammu and Kashmir, around 200 stone-pelters attacked an army convoy on Saturday in the Shopian district, to which the army responded with firing, killing 2 youths.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday called up Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, condemning the shooting that killed 2 youths, saying that the killing of every civilian impairs the political process in the state put on track after hard work by political parties.

Sitharaman assured CM Mufti that she would seek a detailed report on the incident and tell the army so that such incidents do not recur in the future, a government spokesperson said.

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Defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said around 3 pm "an army administrative convoy was passing through Ganaupura Chowk in Shopian in South Kashmir when it came under unprovoked and intense attack by a group of 100-120 stone-pelters. In no time, their numbers swelled to 200-250. The crowd surrounded an isolated portion of the convoy consisting of four vehicles. They caused extensive damage to the vehicles and tried to set them on fire."

Kalia added, "A junior commissioned officer (JCO) accompanying the convoy got hit on his head and fell unconscious. The mob tried to lynch him and snatch his weapon. The violent crowd set the army vehicles on fire. Considering the extreme gravity of the situation the army was constrained to open fire in self-defence. A total of seven army men suffered injuries and extensive damage was caused to 11 vehicles. In the process two civilians succumbed to bullet injuries."

Javed Ahmad Bhat, 20, and Suhail Javed Lone, 24 were killed in the incident and 8 other civilians injured, out of which one is said to be in critical condition.

All internet services were shut down in the Kashmir valley on Saturday, while Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwiaz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik of JKLF called for a Kashmir-wide shutdown on Sunday in protest of the deaths.