Handwara Killings: ‘Situation Under Control’

Riyaz Ul Khaliq


Nimaz-e-Jinazah of slain Raja Begum (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Nimaz-e-Jinazah of slain Raja Begum (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Following killings of four persons in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district in last two days, the situation is under control in the town on Thursday, district officials said.

Protests had erupted in Handwara town on Tuesday afternoon after an alleged molestation bid by an army man.

Three persons including an elderly woman were shot dead by force on Tuesday while one youth was hit by tear gas shell fired by police in Drugmulla area on Wednesday. He later succumbed to his injuries.

After the protests refused to die, the J&K government sent a team of lawmakers to Handwara to diffuse and oversee the situation.

The team which included PDP’s Ab Haq Khan and Fayaz Ahmad Mir and People’s Conference’s Sajad Gani Lone camped in main Handwara town on Wednesday and held deliberations with civil society and district administration.

“The situation is normal,” Haq Khan, who represents Lolab constituency, said. “Demands are being worked upon,” he said, “our government takes care of such demands in routine. CM Mehbooba Ji has already taken matter of removal of bunker with army and others things too will be done.” Khan and Mir are today in Kupwara, they said.

Slain Nayeem Qadir
Slain Nayeem Qadir

Speaking to Kashmir Life, ADC Kupwara, Muzaffar Ahmad, said, “situation is under total control.” “However,” he added, “precautionary measures have been put in place in and around the main town.”

The ADC is heading the magisterial enquiry, ordered by J&K government, into the civilian killings. “We will be completing the enquiry in two weeks’ time,” he said.

On the demand of locals’ demands, he further said, “whatever district administration can do, we will do it.”

When asked about the steps Kupwara administration has taken so far, he said, “removal of army bunker from in chowk will be done by district administration; the relief to deceased and the injured is also being taken up.” “Under SRO, the NoK is either to be given government job or Rs 4 lakh relief,” he said.

He added, “the locals are demanding additional relief and Kupwara administration has taken the matter with J&K government through proper channel.”

When asked about the cases registered in the Handwara episode, the ADC said, “let enquiry complete, we will see how to tackle with demands.” The locals have demanded withdrawal of FIRs that were registered against some youth following protests and clashes.

Following outcry over the civilian killings in Handwara, the Valley witnessed complete shutdown on Wednesday and Thursday. Separatists have been detained while restrictions have been put in place in major Srinagar areas.

Official sources told Kashmir Life that Director General of Police K Rajendra and Kashmir Police chief, SJM Gillani, are camping in Handwara to oversee the situation.

More so, reports are reaching Srinagar that media personnel have been denied entry into curfew bound Handwara.

Reporters who reached North Kashmir early today said that cops stopped them were told to return. “They (cops) told us that there are clear orders not to allow anyone inside the town,” a senior journalist told Kashmir Life over phone.


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