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Soldiers have gone out of control in Kashmir: Govt

Srinagar, June 28: With six innocent youth falling to bullets of Indian parliamentary soldiers in Indian Kashmir in nine days, the government of the region has admitted that paramilitary soldiers have ‘gone out control’ and asked Government of India’s to rein in the soldiers.

On June 20, Indian paramilitary soldiers fired on the funeral procession of the 24-year old Mohammad Rafiq Bangroo, who died after succumbing to injuries sustained in the soldiers beating on June 12. In the firing on Bangroo’s funeral procession, his 19-year old cousin Javaid Ahmad Malla was killed.

On June 26, Indian paramilitary soldiers fired on a crowd in Sopore, 55 kms North of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. The people were demanding bodies of two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, who were killed in the gunfight in the area earlier in the day. Instead of giving them the bodies, the paramilitary soldiers (CRPF men) fired indiscriminately on the people, killing two persons and injuring 10 others.

The anger against the Indian police and paramilitary soldiers has risen manifold after these incidents. These incidents have further fuelled feelings of alienation among the Kashmiris.

The events have also frustrated the pro-India government of the region. “Paramilitary CRPF soldiers have gone out of control as there was total lack of command in their ranks,” Indian Kashmir’s law and parliamentary affairs minister Ali Mohammad Sagar said while talking to the media.

He said the government had categorically told paramilitary soldiers not to resort to firing on peaceful protestors. “However, they have not adhered to our orders and have gone out of hand in the region. The soldiers should have exhibited restraint while dealing with the situation.”

“The soldiers opened fire in Sopore area on Sunday when just 10 to 20 youth were protesting against over two people who had recently been killed. The soldiers should not have opened fire at them. It was totally unwarranted,” he said adding, “They are working against the interest of India and this should not happen at any cost. It will have dangerous ramifications”.

He asked Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram to immediately visit the region and take stock of the situation. “He should rein-in the paramilitary soldiers, who seem to have gone out of control,” he said.

“Government of India will have to listen to us if it has to protect its interests in Kashmir. Five youth were killed in series by paramilitary soldiers and it is not a good thing. We are not ready to tolerate human rights violations,” the minister said.

He further said time has come when Government of India should intervene and expose the black sheep among the men in uniform, who were creating trouble and adding fuel to the fire.

Meanwhile, chief minister of the region, Omar Abdullah has spoken to Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram late last evening and expressed his strong concern about the recent death of civilians.

“The Indian Home Minister assured the Chief Minister that together the Government of India and Kashmir state government will deal with the situation. He said Government of India is committed to support the state government in its endeavor to bring peace and order in the state and shall do everything possible in this regard,” an official spokesman said.

He said Chidambaram assured all help to Kashmir government to bring an immediate end to the cycle of violence.

Indian home minister is expected to visit the region this week to review the situation.

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