Two more people died in Jammu and Kashmir yesterday as a result of clashes with security forces the previous day, police said.
The authorities described the security situation as tense as the death toll rose to four after a teenage boy, who was hit by a teargas shell, and a woman succumbed to their injuries.
Two men died on the spot on Tuesday after soldiers reportedly fired to disperse a group of people protesting against the alleged molestation of a schoolgirl by a soldier in the town of Handwara in northern Kashmir.
The police said preliminary investigations indicated there was no such incident of molestation and that it may have been an attempt by locals to create trouble.
Strong anti-India sentiment in Kashmir often pits protesters against paramilitary and police forces, who are present in large numbers to control the state’s secessionist movement.
The army said it regretted the loss of life and the matter was being investigated.
“Anybody found guilty will be dealt with as per law,” an army spokesman said.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also said the troops involved would be given exemplary punishment if found guilty of a crime.
Mufti warned the shootings would have a “negative impact” on her government’s efforts to promote peace in the state.
Authorities said an assistant sub-inspector of police has been suspended for mishandling the law and order situation in Handwara.
Meanwhile, independent legislator Rashid said that ASI Mohamed Rafiq has been accused by the relatives of one of the victims of opening fire at the protesters.
Rashid said the ASI has been suspended for mishandling the law and order situation and also for firing at protesters.
Curfew-like restrictions were put in place in Handwara and adjoining areas as well as parts of Srinagar. Additional police were patrolling the streets.
Thousands had earlier joined a funeral procession for the two men who died on Tuesday.
Kashmiri separatist politicians called for a strike yesterday in protest at the killings.
Most businesses and schools were closed and there was little traffic on the main roads.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Govt releases guidelines for reopening of malls
Mumbai escapes brunt of Cyclone Nisarga
Pregnant elephant dies in India after eating explosive fruit trap
India's coronavirus cases cross 200,000, peak still weeks away
India evacuates 100,000 from homes, virus hospital ahead of cyclone
200 migrant workers killed on roads during lockdown
Govt approves emergency use of remdesivir in Covid cases
Mumbai on high alert, thousands evacuated
Jessica Lal’s murderer released from Tihar jail