Student killed in Army operation in J-K, murder case filed

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Srinagar, Feb 5 (PTI) A student was killed allegedlyduring an ambush by the Army in north Kashmir''s Kupwaradistrict, following which a murder case was registered todayagainst the unit which carried out the operation.

Manzoor Ahmad Magray, 22, was shot dead by the troopers of4 Para of the Army, who had laid an ambush last night inChogal area of Handwara town, 85 kms from here, in Kupwaradistrict, officials said.

The killing triggered protests in Chogal as residentsdemanded arrest of the Army personnel involved in theincident, they said.

The family members of the youth alleged that he was takenout of the house by the soldiers and severely tortured,resulting in his death.

The protestors relented only after top civil and policeofficials assured the residents that a case will be filedagainst the concerned army unit.

Later, a case under section 302 Ranbir Penal Code (RPC)was registered against the 4 Para unit of the Army, sourcessaid adding the residents then laid Magray''s body to rest.

Regretting the loss of life in the operation, Defencespokesman Lt Col J S Brar said in a statement here that basedon specific intelligence about movement of militants, Armytroops had laid an ambush last night to trap them.

At around 2230 hours, the troops detected suspiciousmovement of two persons towards the ambush.

"As per the Standing Operative Procedures, the troopschallenged the individuals to surrender. Both the individualspaid no heed and attempted to run away under the cover ofdarkness. The troops opened fire resulting in fatal injuriesto Manzoor Ahmad Magray while the other unidentified personescaped," Col Brar said.

Although the troops strictly adhered to the procedures,the Army regrets the loss of life, more so, as the year hasbeen declared by the Army as the year of the ''Kashmiri Awam'',he said.

"We deeply and sincerely express our heartfelt condolencesto the bereaved family," he said.

Meanwhile, condemning the killing of the youth, Jammu andKashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the incident couldhave been avoided if a "suggestion" made by him at a meetingof the Unified Headquarters had been implemented.

He, however, did not elaborate as to what the suggestionwas.

This is second incident of a civilian getting killed inKupwara district in as many months. An unidentified youth wasallegedly shot dead by security forces at Warnaw in Lolabarea of Kupwara on January 4.

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