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Amnesty International India Chapter Wednesday demanded a full and independent criminal investigation into civilian killings in North Kashmir’s Handwara.

In a statement issued this evening, the AI said, “Authorities must conduct a full and independent criminal investigation into the killing of three protesters in firing by Indian Army personnel in Handwara, Jammu and Kashmir. Those responsible must be prosecuted in a civilian court of law.”

“An incident of alleged sexual assault against a teenage girl by a soldier, which is believed to have led to the protests, must also be promptly investigated,” the statement.

“This is not the first time that security forces have opened fire on protesters. Reports that the Army used excessive force must be investigated,” said Zahoor Wani, Campaigner, Amnesty International India. “Firearms should be used intentionally only when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life, and law enforcement officials should distinguish between persons engaging in violence and peaceful demonstrators.”

“There were hundreds of protesters. They were demanding the arrest of the army man,” said Zulkarnain Banday, an eyewitness.


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