Incident unfortunate, says Sinha; announces relief

Large number of people attend cremation of two persons killed in Rajouri. —Excelsior/Imran
Large number of people attend cremation of two persons killed in Rajouri. —Excelsior/Imran

Firing victims cremated amid tension

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 17: Two persons, who died of firing outside an Army camp, were cremated in Rajouri district today.

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Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha described the incident as “very unfortunate” and announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased.
“The incident in Rajouri is very unfortunate. Condolences to the bereaved families. The price of a life cannot be set in monetary terms but still, I announce an ex-gratia relief of Rs five lakh for each affected family,” Sinha posted on twitter.
Kamal Kumar and Surinder Kumar, both residents of Pahlyana, were killed and another person, Anil Kumar of Uttarakhand was injured in a firing incident outside the Army camp near its Alpha gate in Rajouri town yesterday morning.
While the Army in a tweet said some “unidentified” militants had started firing at the camp, eyewitnesses claimed that a sentry posted at the gate opened fire at the approaching locals, resulting in casualties.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Haseeb Mughal and District Development Commissioner Vikas Kundal besides other senior civil and police officers joined thousands of people in the cremation of the deceased at the local crematory.
The cremation passed off peacefully without any untoward incident, an official said.
There was strong resentment among the people over the killings and they wanted fair probe into the incident.
“We have been assured independent inquiry by the administration. The Lieutenant Governor has also given a statement,” a group of people said.
There were some others as well who blamed militants for trying to create unrest in the border district.
Leaders of different political parties visited the bereaved family and demanded a time-bound probe into the incident and adequate compensation to the families of the deceased.
“It is a tragic incident and whosoever is found involved will have to face the law. Army is conducting a court of inquiry and police have launched its investigation after registering a case,” BJP president Ravinder Raina told reporters after meeting the families of the deceased in Rajouri.
He said Lt Governor telephoned the victims’ families to assure that justice will be done to them, adding, “I have talked to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command and GOC 25 Infantry Division based in Rajouri over the incident.”
Raina said the Army is a professional force and known for its discipline, bravery and upholding human rights, adding, “I have full faith that the investigation will be completed in a time-bound manner to award exemplary punishment to the guilty.”
Referring to the killing of three local youths of Rajouri in a fake encounter in Shopian on July 18, 2020, the BJP leader said the Army’s court of inquiry nailed the guilty and took stern action against them.
A delegation of the Pradesh Congress Committee led by former Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Ravinder Sharma also visited the families of the deceased and demanded a time-bound judicial probe into the killings to fix the responsibility.
“We have gone to share the grief of the Dalit families who lost their members in the tragic incident. A high-level time bound probe or a judicial inquiry is a must to provide justice to the victims,” Sharma, chief spokesperson of the committee said.
He said Congress has always stood with the armed forces in the fight against terrorism which has ruined the lives of the people in Jammu and Kashmir over the past 30 years.
Sharma demanded adequate compensation, free education to the children of the deceased and Government jobs to their family members as part of their rehabilitation.