June 2006 News

One killed as Army opens fire on Kupwara demonstrators

10 June 2006
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: 18 persons, including 10 policemen, injured in pitched battles Prohibitory orders in Kupwara district SRINAGAR: One person was killed and six were injured when the Army on Saturday opened fire on thousands of demonstrators in Kupwara, who were protesting against alleged desecration of the Quran and a mosque by soldiers. At least 18 persons, including 10 policemen were injured in pitched battles. A prohibitory order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been imposed in Kupwara district. Reports quoting Zirhama villagers said that on Friday evening a group of soldiers from 17 Dogra regiment entered the local mosque with their shoes on, broke almirahs and threw out copies of the Quran. As news spread, the people, including students, gathered in Kupwara town. They later marched towards Zirhama demanding action against the erring soldiers. Police sources said the people, shouting pro-freedom and anti-security force slogans, entered part of the local army camp and damaged the communication system. The Army opened fire to disperse the demonstrators. The protesters damaged a number of vehicles. The situation in the area is tense. But S.M. Sahai, Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir zone, said it was brought under control. He denied that soldiers committed desecration. 'These were baseless rumours spread by some vested interests.' Probe ordered Kupwara Deputy Commissioner Abdul Majid Khandey, who rushed to the spot, told The Hindu that a magisterial inquiry was ordered into the incident. A case was registered against army personnel for firing on the demonstrators. Army denies charge UNI reports: In Srinagar, a Defence Ministry spokesman denied the allegations of sacrilege by the troops. He said the Kupwara Deputy Commissioner and senior police officials visited the mosque and called the allegations baseless.


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