July 2005 News

People's Anger Justified, Says Lt. Gen.Dhillon

26 July 2005
The Hindu

Srinagar: Under fire from all quarters, the Army on Tuesday announced a special compensation of Rs. 3 lakhs each to the families of the three minor boys who were shot dead at Bagargund in Kupwara district on Saturday night. Lt. Gen. S.S. Dhillon, General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said here that the 'people's anger against the Army is justified.' By no means could this action, which claimed three innocent lives, be justified. 'We have earlier said, and I repeat, it is very unfortunate and regrettable.' Lt. Gen. Dhillon said he had gone to the village to condole with the affected families and he could 'feel the anger of the people.' Ruling out any plan or conspiracy to target the boys, he said, 'I am quite definite that there was no scheme to kill those innocent but I can say it was an error of judgment.' Probe will go into all aspects Assuring complete transparency in the court of inquiry ordered by the Army, he said 'accountability will be upheld and all the aspects of the incident will be looked into.' The Army had announced compensation of Rs. 3 lakhs each to the family of those killed and Rs. 2 lakhs to an injured boy. 'Though nothing can compensate a life, we have decided to help the families overcome the trauma.' Asked whether the families accepted the relief, he said: 'The Minister of Forests told me that they want the money deposited in bank.' Lt. Gen. Dhillon said the area where the Army action took place was infested with militants and recently six of them were killed. In an ambush on May 5, the militants fired at a party of Armymen, killing a jawan. The Army was now planning 'refined operations' to avoid incidents such as the one which occurred on July 23. 'We will review the details and procedures of an ambush.' Denying revenge killing, he said, 'It is an obnoxious allegation.' The Army was a proud force and could never indulge in such acts.


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