Army takes responsibility for killing Kashmiri youths

Srinagar, The army on Friday took responsibility for the killing of two youths and injuries to two others in the Nov 3 Chattergam firing, saying it will cooperate with any inquiry.

Addressing a media conference at the army’s 15 Corps headquarters in Badami Bagh cantonment here Friday, the army’s Northern Command chief, Lt. Gen. D.H. Hooda said: “We sincerely wish that the killing of civilians wouldn’t have happened. We share the sorrow of the families.”
“An inquiry has already been ordered.” Gen. Hooda said, “Fifteen civilian witnesses have already recorded their statements, apart from those from the force.” “We hope in the next 10 days or so, the inquiry is completed if all goes well.” Hooda also said the army would cooperate with any other inquiry being conducted into the incident. “We will cooperate in any other inquiry. Circumstances of the firing are being investigated.”
“We take responsibility of what has happened,” the Northern Command GOC-in-C said.
“Compensation of Rs.10 lakh each for those killed and Rs.5 lakh each for the injured in the firing has been approved by the defence ministry.” Gen. Hooda said rehabilitation of the injured would be taken care of by the army.
“I admit that mistake has happened, otherwise why would two civilian boys have been killed like this.” Two youths – Faisal Yusuf Bhat and Mehrajuddin Dar – were killed in Chattergam village of Badgam district Nov 3 in firing on a speeding car by soldiers of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles.
Two other youths travelling in the car were injured. The army had said the driver of the car jumped the mobile vehicle check posts (MVCPS) set up in Chattergam following information that guerrillas were moving in the area in a car.
State police have confirmed that none of the four youths travelling in the ill-fated car had any militant record.
There has been a public outcry following the incident. Police registered an FIR for murder against soldiers of 53 Rashtriya Rifles responsible for the firing. All the four youths belonged to Nowgam area of Srinagar district.
Sporadic clashes between angry protesters and police have been taking place in Nowgam area since Nov 4 after the bodies of the youths were handed over to their families. 
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