A civilian was killed and another seriously injured when Army personnel opened firing after observing suspicious movement at village Kohli under the jurisdiction of Dharamkund police station in Ramban district early today. While Army claimed that their ambush patrol was fired upon before they retaliated, police said it was matter of investigation but confirmed that both dead and injured were civilians and had no militant connection.
The incident occurred at 4.45 am when Army ambush patrol party at village Kohli observed movement and opened firing in which a civilian was killed and another injured seriously. Local people and police rushed to the spot and shifted the victims to hospital, where one of them was declared dead while another was referred to Ramban from where he was further shifted to the Government Medical Colleges (GMC) Jammu.
The dead civilian has been identified as Mohammad Rafiq, 28, son of Mohammad Shaffi, a resident of village Duksar, Gool and the injured as Mohammad Shakeel, 30, son of Mohammad Yusuf Sheikh R/o Dalwa, Gool.
SSP Ramban Mohan Lal told the Excelsior after visiting the spot that the civilians were changing pastured along with their cattle and had halted at the residence of their relative at village Kohli in Dharamkund area for the night. Early today, both of them were going for grazing their cattle when they were fired upon, leading to killing of one and injuries to another, he said.
Mohan Lal said the Army’s claim that they were fired upon before retaliation was part of investigations in the First Information Report (FIR) No. 38/2018 under Sections 302 and 307 RPC and 7/27/30 Arms Act, which has been registered at Dharamkund police station. However, he said, investigations by the police revealed that deceased and injured were civilians and had nothing to do with the militancy. They were just shifting to new pastures, which is a routine for the Gujjars.
An official statement issued by the Army on the incident by Defence PRO Col Devender Anand said: “on August 5, 2018, an operation was launched by Army based on specific Intelligence inputs in Kohli area of Gool tehsil in Ramban district.
“At 3.45 am, the Army patrol saw some suspicious activity. The suspected individuals were challenged by the Army as per the Standard Operating Procedure. On being challenged, the suspected individuals opened fire upon the Army patrol. On this, the Army patrol retaliated the firing on suspects effectively. Further details are being ascertained’’.
The SSP Ramban said a Special Investigating Team (SIT) headed by Additional SP Ramban, Sanjay Parihar has been constituted to investigate the case. The SIT will have four more members. They included Asgar Ali Malik, DySP Headquarter Ramban, Sajad Sarwer, SDPO Banihal, Inspector Ajeet Singh, SHO Dharamkund and SI Deepak Katoch, Incharge PP Sangaldan.
At the same time, Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, Showkat Aiyaz Bhat told the Excelsior that he has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.
Aiyaz, who also visited the spot, said Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia payment has been given to next of kin of deceased Mohammad Rafiq while injured was given Rs 20,000 for treatment. Besides, authorities have been asked to ensure that injured gets good medical treatment in the Government Medical College, Jammu,
In the morning, people held massive protests at Kohli and Sangaldan against the killing of Mohammad Rafiq and injuries to another civilian demanding action against those responsible for the firing, registration of FIR against them, adequate compensation of the family of victim etc.
Police and civil administration persuaded the protesters by assuring them that the FIR has already been registered and compensation paid to family of the dead civilian. The people lifted their protests and buried the body of Rafiq at village Duksar.
Soldier killed in Pak sniping
Pakistani troops last night sniped a soldier along the Line of Control (LoC) in Tanghdar sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district while militants abducted and killed a man in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and police today arrested two Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of militants involved in rifle snatching.
Pakistani troops last night sniped a soldier of 20-Jat Regiment deployed on Sangar post on the LoC in Tanghdar sector. Sepoy Pushpinder (320658L) was critically injured in the sniping and later succumbed to his injuries.
Sources said that Pakistan troops from Mujahid post opposite to Sangar post shot at the soldier during the night. The Army also fired back but there were no reports of loss on Pakistani side.
And militants last night abducted and killed a man in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district while two Over Ground Workers of militants involved in rifle snatching were arrested today.
The gunmen barged into the house of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Gani Bhat, resident of Murran, Pulwama and abducted him. His bullet riddled body was recovered in the morning. He was running an eye clinic at Bijbehara.
A police spokesman said here:”Terrorists in Murran Pulwama yesterday night barged inside the house of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Gani Bhat, resident of Murran, Pulwama and abducted him.”
“Later, police recovered the bullet riddled dead body of Gulzar from the nearby fields of Murran, Pulwama. Police has registered a case and initiated investigation. Initial investigation in the matter suggested that in this incident Zahoor Thokar and Showkat Dar led group of proscribed terror outfit HM are involved in this killing”, the spokesman added.
In the meantime, police said that they arrested two OGWs of militants in connection with rifle snatching incident in Khrew, Pampore.
Police said that on August 10, two persons barged inside Jammu and Kashmir Bank Branch Khrew and attacked Bank guard Mumtaz Ahmad with pepper spray and sharp edged weapon in an attempt to snatch his 12 bore rifle. “But the security guard bravely resisted the attempts made to snatch his rifle thereby successfully foiling the rifle snatching bid,” police said.
The guard Mumtaz sustained injuries and was evacuated to Khrew hospital for medical treatment while the accused persons fled away from the spot.
“Consequent upon this, case FIR No. 57/2018 under relevant Sections of law was registered at police station Khrew and the investigation in the matter was initiated,” police said adding “during the course of investigation it came across that two OGWs namely Yasir Ahmad Wani son of Bashir Ahmad resident of Babapora and Yawar Sultan son of Mohammad Sultan resident of Shar Shali, Khrew were involved in commission of crime and were subsequently arrested”, police said
Yatra suspended for 3 days
Holy Amarnath yatra was suspended from Jammu to Srinagar for three consecutive days from today for security reasons and no pilgrim was allowed to leave for holy cave from here.
The yatra will also remain suspended on August 14 and 15 from Jammu to twin base camps of Baltal in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir and Nunwan -Pahalgam in South Kashmir district of Anantnag due to security reasons, official sources said.
However, the yatra from Baltal plied normally today and 657 pilgrims paid obeisance holy cave of Swami Amarnath Ji on 47th day of darshan today, an Officer on yatra duty said.
He said till date 2,79,535 pilgrims performed darshan in the holy cave since the two month long yatra started on June 28.
The officer said no yatri was allowed to leave for holy cave from traditional Chandanwari track and yatra remained suspended from Nunwan Base camp also today.
He said, however, 153 pilgrims from Baltal base camp left for holy cave early this morning for darshan while 81 left by chopper during the day.
He said the traffic from both the base camps to Jammu will remain suspended tomorrow and day after tomorrow due to security reasons and no pilgrim will be allowed to leave for Jammu during these two days.
Meanwhile, in connection with annual pilgrimage of Chhari-Mubarak, Swami Amarnathji, ‘Chhari-Sthapana’ ceremony was performed with chanting of Vedic hymn at Shri Amareshwar Temple, Akhara Building, Budshah Chowk, Srinagar this morning by a group of Sadhus led by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji, the sole custodian of the holy mace and the head of True Trust formed by him in 2004. It took more than two hours completing the rituals.
Chhari-Mubarak (holy mace), one depicting Lord Shiva and another Goddess Parvati shall be kept in the temple at Akhara building Srinagar for ‘darshan’ till it leaves for main course of pilgrimage on August 20.
Pilgrims and public in general have the privilege to have ‘darshan’ of holy mace kept in Shri Amareshwar Temple, Dashnami Akhara Srinagar during these days.
Traditional ‘Chhari-Pujan’ will be performed on August 15 on the occasion of ‘Nag-Panchami’ (Shravan Shukla Paksha Panchami) at Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar.
‘The True Trust’, founded by Mahant Deependra Giri Ji has made all the necessary arrangements like yester years for Sadhus and needy from the general public coming from across the country to join Chhari-Mubarak of Swami Amarnath Ji Yatra for their food, accommodation and transportation during the annual pilgrimage.
Then Charri Mubarak which will leave Dashnami Akhara on August 20 will reach Pahalgam on the dame day after performing puja enroute at Durga Nag temple lying in the foothills of Shankracharya hill lock in Srinagar, Shiv temple of Pampore, Awantipora, Bijbehara, Anantnag, Sun temple of Mattan, Ganeshbal before reaching Pahalgam. After having two days halt at Pahalgam, the holy mace will leave for cave shrine situated at an altitude of 3880 meters in deep Himlayas on August 22 to reach there in the wee hours of Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha bandhan festival on August 26.
After performing the puja for the whole day in the holy cave the Chhari Mubarak will leave for Panchtarni in the evening same day. After a night halt at Panchtarni it will leave for Pahalgam next day where with the performance of immersion ceremonies and other rituals on the bank of river Lidder in a traditional way, the holy mace will return to its abode Dashnami Akhara, Srinagar marking the end of two month long annual Amarnath yatra.
Wanah Organic launched
JAMMU: Wanah Organic Food Products (P) Limited was launched today in a grand function at Hotel Ramada, KC City Centre Jammu.
The launch was done by the reputed dignitaries including former Minister and MLA Inderwal, GM Saroori, DCC president, Kishtwar, Mohinder Parihar, noted entrepreneur, Tahir Rufayee, State president, NSUI Raqeeq Khan,Dr.Mubashar Mir and founder and CEO of the Company, Thakur Randeep Bhandari.
On the occasion, e-commerce website of Wanahorganic.com was also launched. Speaking on the launching ceremony, MLA Inderwal, it is high time for youth to start something productive which can benefit the society.
While speaking on the occasion, CEO of the Company told the gathering that it was his dream project and after working hard for 2 years he has become able to launch the company and its e-commerce website. He said that Wanah Organic will be selling the organic products which are specially found in J&K through their e-commerce website.
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