Kashmir civilian killing: Four paramilitary troopers suspended (Lead)

March 19th, 2009 - 4:03 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Srinagar, March 19 (IANS) Four paramilitary troopers, including an assistant commandant, were Thursday suspended pending investigations into Wednesday’s firing in a south Kashmir village that left a carpenter dead. The killing sparked off massive protests in the area.
Gulam Mohiuddin Malik, 35, was killed in allegedly unprovoked firing by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers in Kheegam village of Pulwama district, according to witnesses.

A First Information Report (FIR) was filed against the security forces with police asking CRPF officials to identify the accused troopers to complete the probe into the incident.

“The CRPF has suspended one assistant commandant and three constables allegedly involved in the firing incident in which one villager unfortunately lost his life”, B. Srinivas, inspector general of police (Kashmir Zone) told IANS here today.

Malik was shot dead when troopers of the 181 CRPF battalion were patrolling the village. The villagers claimed the troopers opened fire at the carpenter without any provocation.

CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi said: “A CRPF patrol had gone to the village for searches on specific information about the presence of militants. The patrol was fired upon by militants and they returned the fire. The body of one person was recovered from the spot.”

The killing, which sparked off protests in Pulwama, came when union Home Minister P. Chidambaram was on a day-long visit to the state. Chidambaram assured action against the army troopers found guilty of killing two youth in north Kashmir’s Bumai village Feb 21.

The situation in Kheegam was tense with hundreds of villagers carrying the body of the slain carpenter on their shoulders and refusing to bury it until the guilty were punished.

However, the body was buried after authorities assured the villagers that the CRPF camp in the village will be re-located and the guilty punished.

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