Budgam firing: Indian Army admits mistake, takes responsibility for loss of lives
The Indian Army on Friday took responsibility for the killing of two youths in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district on Monday.
Srinagar: The Indian Army on Friday took responsibility for the killing of two youths in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district on Monday.
Addressing a press conference, Lt Gen DS Hooda, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, said that the Army was committed to ensuring such incidents don't take place.
Describing it as a case of "mistaken identity", Lt General DS Hooda said: "There was some information about a white car with terrorists. Obviously, the identity was mistaken in this case. We take responsibility for the deaths.”
The officer assured that highest standard of transparency will be followed to determine how this mistake took place. He added that action would be taken if rules had been violated. Fifteen civilian witnesses and service witnesses have been examined as part of the inquiry ordered following the incident. The inquiry will be completed in 10 days or so, he said.
With all the work done during floods, incidents like this take us back, said Lt General Hooda, adding: "We sincerely wish the incident would not have happened."
While responding to questions by media personnel, Lt General Hooda said the Army would refine its drills and come up with steps to make sure that such things do not occur again.
He further said that AFSPA has nothing to do with this incident.
The Army has announced Rs 10 lakh compensation to the kin of each of the deceased and Rs 5 lakh each for the injured.
Two youths - Faisal Yusuf Bhat and Mehrajuddin Dar - were killed, while two others - Shaker Bhat and Zahid Naqash - were injured on Monday evening when soldiers of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles opened fire at the car in which they were travelling in Chattergam village, 20 km from Srinagar.
The youths were from Nowgam area of Srinagar district.
The Army had said the car driver did not stop at a mobile vehicle check post (MVCP) when he was signalled to do so.
"At approximately 5 pm a white Maruti 800 car approached the first check point where a personnel tried to stop the car, but it did not stop. Again at the second check point, the vehicle did not stop," the Army statement had said.
"At the third check point, the vehicle tried to break through the check point, resulting in a firing incident in which four people were injured."
The injured were rushed to the Army base hospital in Srinagar where two succumbed to injuries.