Four civilian killings in four days

Soldiers targeted Ajaz after he asked them to return his cell phone: Family

Kulgam, Jun 19: Thousands of people participated in the last rites of Kulgam youth here in south Kashmir who was killed in Army firing on Monday evening.
Ajaz Ahmad Bhat of Akhran-Nowpora according to his family was killed in direct action by army after he requested them to return his cell phone which had been snatched by Army soldiers.
“He was not a protesters and neither he pelted stones. Ajaz was passing through the road when army soldiers suddenly emerged, alighted from their armoured vehicles and started snatching cell phones of youth. His cell phone was also snatched by soldiers. As he approached towards soldiers to get his cell phone back, they pumped three bullets in his body,” said the family members.
“It is the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act that has made soldiers unaccountable and unbridled. Once this draconian law will be lifted, they (soldiers) will start behaving like humans,” the irate mourners amid pro freedom and anti-India slogans said.
A large number of people from adjacent villages arrived at the native place of slain youth and participated in his last rites. They said soldiers of 9 Rashtriya Rifles of Indian army without any provocation randomly snatched cellphones of several passersby in Akhran-Nowpora village of Devsar in Kulgam.
“They then started looking into photo galleries and also thrashed youth. It was only after that youth pelted stones on them and in response they got bullets,” the locals said adding that army had twice visited the village during the day.
“Two youth received bullet injuries who were shifted to District Hospital Anantnag, where Ajaz Ahmad Bhat son of Bashir Ahmad Bhat of Nowpora-Akhran was declared “brought dead” while other injured youth, Rayees Ahmad from the same village, was referred to Srinagar hospital for treatment.
The mourners turned emotional after two little kids of slain youth sat beside his dead body.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Kulgam district against this killing.
All shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in Kulgam town and other areas of the district while skeletal movement of transport was observed on the roads.
From past four days, four civilians have been killed in South Kashmir. Three civilians died in Forces action while the fourth one was shot dead by suspected militants.
On June 15, a youth Waqas Ahmed Rather was killed in army firing at Nowpora Lassipora area of South Kashmir while two others including a girl were injured during clashes. On June 16 another youth Sheeraz Ahmed was killed on the day of Eid-ul-Fitar when Forces fired pellets upon him during clashes. On
June 17 suspected militants shot dead one Muhammad Iqbal Kawa at Kelam Kulgam and on June 18 a civilian Ajaz Ahmed was killed in army firing at Akhran Kulgam. (CNS)