Youth’s killing in Baramulla: Omar breaks down in Assembly

JAMMU, Mar 5: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today broke down in the assembly over the killing of a youth allegedly by security forces during protests in Baramulla town in north Kashmir, saying the action on the mob was unjustified.

An emotional Omar told the assembly that a probe would be held into the killing and strict punishment given to those found guilty.

A 25-year-old man was killed and four were injured in firing allegedly by security forces during protests in Baramulla town today.

Hundreds of residents of Baramulla town took to streets to protest what they alleged ransacking of their houses by the army in the area.

The protesters pelted stones at the army personnel who allegedly opened fire to disperse them, they said.

Five persons were injured in the incident. One of them later succumbed to injuries. He was identified as 25-year-old Tahir Latief Sofi.

Omar said he will seek answers for the killing.

“Today I want answers for those questions which were raised here (by PDP over the killing and silence of New Delhi). I do not have answers immediately but I will seek answers,” Omar said while winding up discussion on the joint address of the Governor to the state Legislature.

Omar turned silent for a short while during the course of his address. “I will seek the answers and whosoever’s door I have to knock, I will knock. But I will have answers”.

The action on the protesters was unjustified, he said.

The Chief Minister said he wants to assure the youths’ family that a thorough probe will be conducted. “Whatever action is needed from our side, I will take that to ensure justice,” he said.

“If there was misuse of force—I assure you (members of the House) that I will definitely give them justice– otherwise there is no fun of this chair”.

Strongly disapproving the action by security forces, Omar said, “The firing is at the protesting rally– in that rally, as per my reports, there were no militants, there was no firing from the mob”.

“Even if they had pelted stones– what is the big thing in it–this is not for the first time–have we not faced stones in the past,” he contended.

The Chief Minister said the walkout by PDP over the issue was justified. “What answers can I give– the questions that these Honourable members (of PDP) asked me– I am posing these questions myself.”

“The members who protested over the incident and staged a walkout from the House have not done anything wrong–I cannot do that– my chair does not allow me to do so–anger which the members gave went to in the House is more in me– I know how I am standing here and talking,” he said.

“What answer will I give to the people– have we for this reasons held the flag of India in our hands– for what I have to apologies the people every time and every time I have to answer for every bullet (used by the forces)”, he said.

PDP led by leader of the opposition Mehbooba Mufti raised the issue of killing of the youth. PDP’s Basharat Bukhari, who is MLA from North Kashmir, raised slogans blaming Omar, New Delhi and Army for the killing.

The House witnessed angry verbal exchanges between Independent MLA Engineer Abdul Rashid and Congress Minister from Jammu Raman Bhalla, disrupting the proceedings.

On the issue of targeting Chief Minister, Omar said, “Somebody is hanged somewhere– the decision is taken by someone else– mercy petition is rejected somewhere else– the incident comes knocking to my house as if I have hanged him (Afzal Guru)”. (AGENCIES)

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