Slain Kashmir youth was militant, reiterates army


Srinagar : The young man killed in a Kashmir village two days ago was a militant from whom a weapon was recovered, a senior army officer said Thursday while his family maintained that he was innocent and shot dead while coming out of a mosque.

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Referring to the killing of 19-year-old Hilal Ahmad Dar of Bandipora district’s Aloosa village Tuesday evening, Lt. Gen. Om Prakash, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Srinagar-based 15th Corps, said: “The Indian Army is a highly disciplined force. In order to avoid civilian damage, for the last many years our operations are based on intelligence inputs.”

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function, he said that it was based on such intelligence reports of militants moving in the area that ambush was laid.

“…When a group of militants approached the ambush, they were challenged to surrender, upon which they opened fire on the troops. One person was killed in the encounter from whose possession a weapon has also been recovered”.

Asked whether the army would initiate an inquiry, he said: “We do not need to prove anything. It was a group of militants.”

On Wednesday, spontaneous protests broke out in the area after Hilal’s body was handed over to relatives for burial. About 24 villagers were injured in clashes with the police in Bandipora town when protestors carrying his body shouted anti-government slogans and pelted stones at security forces.

Villagers and the family said Hilal was innocent and was killed after the Ramzan evening ‘Tarawi’ prayers.

The Bandipora district magistrate has ordered a magisterial probe into the youth’s killing.