Mentally deranged teenager shot dead by Army in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Oct 26 (UNI) Exactly a week after the Army killed a teacher in Kupwara district of north Kashmir, troops allegedly shot dead a mentally deranged teenager in Sopore area of Baramulla district last night, sources said today.

The killing sparked off massive protests in the area, they added.

The sources said troops of 5 sector Rashtriya Rifles (RR) allegedly killed 13-year-old Akeel Ahmed Mir, a mentally deranged person, while he was spotted walking near their camp (headquarters) at Watlab in Sopore area at about 1140 hrs last night.

The troops allegedly mistook Mir for a ''fidayeen'' (a suicide bomber) and opened fire and killed him on the spot, they added.

While confirming the incident, a police spokesman said further details were awaited.

When contacted, Army spokesman Col Manjinder Singh told UNI that at about 2330 hrs last night, troops of 5 sector RR spotted a youth, wearing a 'pheron' (a long traditional cloak) and track pants, approaching towards the camp.

''The troops challenged the youth when he tried to enter the premises by breaking the fence. As he still tried to crawl and cross the fence, the troops fired warning shots in the area. The firing in the air did not stop the youth and he continued to cross the fence and enter the camp,'' Col Singh added.

He said the troops were then ''forced'' to open fire on him at about 2345 hrs as ''refused to pay any heed'' to their warnings.

''The youth was killed on the spot. He was later identified as 17-year-old Akeel Ahmed Mir. We cannot say whether he was insane or not. If one tries to forcibly enter a security force camp, the troops will retaliate,'' the spokesman added.

Col Singh said the body was later handed over to the police at about 0300 hrs this morning. Preliminary investigations suggested that there were no torture marks on the body, he added.

Last Friday, Abdul Rashid Mir, a teacher and a resident of Rawatpora, Kralapora in Kupwara district, was shot dead by the soldiers of Drangyari camp in Marsari forests of Chowkibal area while enroute to his school along with two women colleagues.

The Jammu and Kashmir government ordered a thorough probe into the killing of the teacher following massive protests. A special investigation team has been formed to probe the incident.

The Army regretted the incident and ordered a court of inquiry into the incident. A gunner, Mohammad Tariq, was later arrested in connection with the killing.


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