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Tension in Handwara as mourners refuse to bury youth

By Staff
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Handwara, Feb 23 (UNI) Tension mounted in Handwara area of Kupwara district today after mourners refused to bury the four young boys, who were allegedly killed by the Army while playing cricket at Dodipora yesterday afternoon, till Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad visits the village and the ''guilty'' troops are arrested and punished.

The bodies of six-year-old Amir Akbar, Shakir Wani (8 year old), Ghulam Hassan Bhat and Samad Mir (both 18 years old) have been kept on the main road at the Kulangam chowk, about nine km from Dodipora.

The protestors carried the bodies from Dodipora to Kulangam, covering a distance of nine km.

The mourners, shouting pro-freedom and anti-security forces slogans, have refused to buy the Army version of the incident in which it was said that the youth had been killed in cross-firing.

A judicial inquiry ordered by the Chief Minister has failed to pacify the agitators.

Mr Azad has sought a thorough probe into the incident to ascertain the circumstances that led to the killing of the four boys.

On the directions of the Chief Minister, Divsional Commissioner, Kashmir, Basharat Ahmed Dhar and Inspector General of Police, Kashmir K Rajendra are camping in the area and keeping a close watch on the situation.

The mourners demanded that Mr Azad visit the Dodipora village and see the bodies himself besides take steps to arrest and punish the ''guilty'' Army personnel.

The protestors alleged that on one hand India was holding talks with Pakistan and the separatists leaders and on the other its security forces ''indulged in killings of the innocent people.'' UNI AG MSJ KN1654

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