Kupwara: Kashmir Valley is witnessing a complete shutdown to protest against the killings of three people in firing by security forces at Handwara in Kupwara district. The three were killed after security forces opened fire on a mob protesting against the alleged molestation of a school girl by Army personnel in Handwara.
All shops and business establishment are closed and public transport is also off the roads. Fearing trouble the Jammu and Kashmir government has imposed restrictions around six police stations in Srinagar city. Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have been deployed at vital places in Srinagar to stop any untoward incident.
The shutdown call was given by Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik and Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to protest the alleged molestation and firing by security forces on the protesters.
Terming the Handwara incident are “very unfortunate”, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said an enquiry will be conducted and those responsible would be punished. She also spoke to Lieutenant General DS Hooda, commander of the strategic Udhampur-based Northern Command, and Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar for action in the alleged incident of molestation by an soldier.
“The Defence Minister assured me an investigation will be conducted and culprits will not be spared. The family of the deceased will be given all possible help,” she said.
Army has already ordered an investigation into the firing and killing of the youngsters. The Army officer informed that he would look into the demand of the locals in Handwara area for shifting of a bunker.
According to Jammu and Kashmir police, an alleged incident of “misbehaviour/molestation” by an army man took place in Handwara town.
“Within minutes a large number of people gathered there and attacked the army bunker in Handwara chowk. They assaulted the personnel deployed there, ransacked the bunker and attempted to set fire to the bunker,” a police spokesman said.
In retaliation the security forces deployed used force to disperse the violent rampaging mob and in the process two individuals namely Mohammad Iqbal and Nayeem Qadir Bhat were killed. One more person succumbed to bullet injuries later.
A criminal case has been registered in Police Station Handwara and investigation launched to ascertain the facts, the spokesman said.