Baramulla, Feb 22 (UNI) Four youth were allegedly killed by security forces in north Kashmir this afternoon, official sources said.
However, a defence ministry spokesman and police claimed that the youth were killed in the cross firing during a search operation.
Official sources said security forces allegedly resorted to firing when some people playing cricket in a field at Dodipora, Handwara, about 29 km from here, said something to security personnel and started running.
They said 12th class student Ghulam Hassam Bhat (18), Abdul Samad Mir (19) and Shakir Wani (8) died on the spot while Amir Akbar Hajam (8) who was critically injured later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
Later, the body of Hajam was taken to Handwara chowk where a large number of people protested against the incident.
They alleged that security forces opened fire without any provocation when more than 70 people were present in the ground on the banks of a local river.
However, a defence ministry spokesman said based on a specific information, troops of 31 and 21 Rashitriya Rifles (RR) launched a search operation at village Dodipora today.
He said when the troops were sealing the village, militants opened fire and in the ensuing gun-battle four civilians were killed.
Deputy Inspector General of police Mohammad Subhan Lone told UNI that four civilians have died and two security personnel were injured in the shootout.
UNI XC/BAS MA KN1826