Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha described the incident as “very unfortunate”. File | Photo credit: Nissar Ahmad
A day after militants attacked outside an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, killing two youths, the army found itself on the docks in a civilian killing spree. J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha as well as BJP state president Ravinder Raina condemned the killing and demanded a high-level probe.
In a public outcry, Mr Sinha announced £5 million to the families of two young men killed in the fire. Mr. Sinha also described the incident as “very unfortunate”.
“The cost of lives cannot be quantified, but I am announcing a compensation of £5 million for each of the affected families,” Mr Sinha said.
The BJP took a tough stand and the 2020 Shopian riots saw three youths killed and the army pass as militants.
“The army should conduct a high-level investigation into the case. Also, the police should form a special investigation team. An inquiry into the killing of three innocent Rajouri youths in Shopian (incident in 2020) should be conducted and a transparent investigation should be conducted like the action taken against the army men,” Mr. Raina said.
The BJP raised the issue with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Northern Command chief and Commander-in-Chief 25 Infantry Division. “J&K Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh has also agreed to investigate the case,” Mr. Raina said.
Describing the killing of two innocent youths as “sad and painful”, Mr. Raina said, “Those responsible must face the law. This country is run according to the Constitution. No one is above the Constitution. It is the same for all. The Army is investigating all cases.” I hope you will show sincerity and transparency.”
“I have spoken to LG Manoj Sinha and DGP Dibagh Singh and asked for a high-level probe. This was approved by the DP. LG also spoke to the family. He (the CM) has assured that justice will be done,” said Mr. Raina.
Meanwhile, top officials of civil administration and security agencies attended the last rites of Kamal Kumar and Surinder Kumar, who were killed in Rajouri. On Friday, two youths working as porters in the army were killed when militants opened fire on the camp. However, locals and families dispute the army’s version.
Senior army officials, who met the protesting locals on Friday, said the army would “give full support in this matter”. After the killing, residents of the army camp faced stone pelting.
National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the killings and demanded an investigation.