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Army orders probe into Dodipora kilings; to pay compensation

By Staff

Srinagar, Feb 24 (UNI) Terming ''unfortunate'' the killing of innocent youth at Dodipora in Handwara on Wednesday, the Army has ordered an inquiry into the incident and decided to pay compensation to the families of the victims.

''We have ordered an inquiry into the incident. The probe will start once the situation stabilised because we would like to take the statements of the civilian witnesses also,'' General Officer in Commanding (GOC) XV Corps Lt Gen S S Dhillon told journalists here.

He said the inquiry would go into complete details of the incident.

Gen Dhillon said while three youth -- Amir Akbar, Shakir Wani and Ghulam Hassan Bhat -- were innocent civilians, the fourth Samad Mir was an over-ground worker of the banned Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).

He also said the Army would pay compensation to the families of the innocent youth.

''We will certainly go into the compensation aspect. Any innocent civilian killed will be compensated. But, we will wait for the situation to stabilise as it is an emotional issue,'' the GOC added.

He said once the emotions were out of it and the facts known to the people, the families would be adequately compensated.

''Some people are already aware of the facts. Once the misperceptions die down, we will pay the compensation. I can assure the families of all possible help,'' the Corps Commander said.

Gen Dhillon said the incident was a conspiracy to tarnish and malign the Army's image and an effort to stall and derail the ongoing peace process.

''The entire incident and its blow up is a deliberate attempt by the vested interest to tarnish and malign the image and good name of the Army,'' the GOC added.

He said the hype created about the incident was also an attempt to stall and derail the ongoing dialogue and peace process.

The GOC also said the Army had observed maximum restraint and adopted a professional approach in the gunfight with militants at Dodipora, and blamed the ultras for the initial fire.

''We used very little fire. As many as 27 rounds from both the rifles and the LMGs were used by the Army in the gunfight. This is a very less number in any such given situation,'' he added.


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