The J&K government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the killing of a 20-year-old man in Army firing at Kupwara in north Kashmir on Wednesday. Taking cognizance of the incident, police have filed an FIR, according to Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, Khalid Jahangir.
The victim, Khalid Gaffar Malik, was a shopkeeper. He has a brother in the Army and two brothers in J&K police.
The magisterial inquiry will be led by Additional District Magistrate, Handwara, Muzaffar Peer.
The reason behind the speedy decision to initiate the magisterial inquiry, government sources say, is the worry that the protests that were mostly restricted in south Kashmir till now, may spread to north Kashmir too.
Malik’s shop was located near Trehgam main market. On Wednesday night, as protests broke out in the area, a bullet fired by the Army hit him on the neck, killing him.
Protests in the area began on Wednesday afternoon, even as an encounter was underway in Kandi area of Kupwara and in view of a shutdown call by the separatist leadership.
Kupwara MLA Bashir Ahmad Dar, who belongs to Sajad Lone’s People’s Conference, said the incident was the result of “excessive use of force and could have been avoided”. He also said that he has asked Governor N N Vohra to constitute a probe into the young man’s killing.
An Army statement, issued late on Wednesday, noted that the protesters had resorted to stone-pelting at two places in the district — Trehgam and Kralpora — earlier in the day as the encounter proceeded in the forests and the vehicles had come under attack at Trehgam.