Even as the Army reiterated its claim on Thursday that the youth gunned down by 27 Rashtriya Rifles in Bandipora on Tuesday was a militant,Defence Minister A K Antony has ordered an inquiry into the killing of 25-year-old Hilal Ahmad Dar of Aloosa village.
I have told the Army to complete the inquiry at the earliest and if anybody is found guilty we will take strong action, he said.
Dars killing had triggered massive protests on Wednesday as locals claimed him to be innocent killed in a fake encounter.
Protests continued in Bandipora on Thursday as hundreds of youths clashed with the police and paramilitary forces,defying curbs on civilian movement and an indefinite curfew.
The police resorted to lobbing tear gas shells and firing shots in the air.
The J-K government has already announced a probe into the killing.
Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called a shutdown on Saturday,and JKLF chief Yasin Malik a march to the United Nations office at Sonawar on Friday.
Earlier,the Army had ruled out the need for any probe,and claimed that its operation was based on intelligence inputs. Lt Gen Om Prakash,GOC of Srinagar-based 15th Corps,said an ambush party challenged a group of militants to surrender but they opened fire. One person was killed in the encounter from whose possession a weapon was recovered too, he said.