Pulwama Killings: SHRC demands ‘detailed factual report’ from authorities

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Srinagar

The state human rights commission (SHRC) on Monday directed the authorities to file a ‘factual’ report into the killings of seven civilians in Pulwama district.

Acting on a complaint filed by rights activist and chairman international forum for justice Human Rights JK Muhammad Ahsan Untoo into the killings, the SHRC issued an order which stated: “…notice along with copy of complaint to commissioner secretary Home Department, DGP JK, DC Pulwama and SSP Pulwama for submitting the factual detailed report in the matter by or before the next date of hearing”.

Referring to the recent incident of Bulandshar—where protestors had killed an on-duty police officer, the petitioner has alleged that forces opened fire on protestors in Pulwama “with an intention to kill”.

“The police and forces personnel fired above the waist and all the civilians killed got firearm marks above their waist and four civilians, who are presently battling for life are having fire arm injuries on different parts of their body that too are above the waist,” he said, adding this “clearly indicates the intention of the forces to kill the protestors only”.

Otherwise, he said, there are other means to disperse the protestors peacefully which is applied by the forces in other parts of India. “for example, the recent episode of Bulandshar wherein protestors killed the police officer but no force was used against the protestors”.

The complainant has also stated before the commission that he “was informed by the local people about the situation. People narrated the terrible ordeal how forces used the force against the innocent civilians without any provocation and forces personnel fire(d) indiscriminately, some people ran for cover but seven people got killed on spot, many got injured and four are battling for life presently”.

Untoo in his petition alleged that the forces’ personnel entered into the houses and damaged the properties of civilians after the gunfight was over. He said people resisted and raised their protests against the damaging of their properties.

The protesters, he said, were “seeking justice against the harassment and beating of common people which infuriated the police and forces’ personnel and they started indiscriminate firing on the civilians.”

Untoo said that appropriate steps need to be taken immediately. “Otherwise it will cause huge damage to the civil population of the Jammu and Kashmir, particularly Kashmir valley,” he said.

The petitioner has also urged the SHRC to constitute an independent team for an investigation into the incident

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