Poonch Killings!

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On Monday the army has launched a staff level inquiry into the security lapses and civilian deaths in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bafliaz and attached the Brigadier of 13 Rashtriya Rifles.
The Commission of Inquiry was ordered after Army on Twitter assured full support for the fair and transparent enquiry into the civilian killings following the anger and protests by the local people especially their family members.

Initially, the army claimed that the bodies of civilians were recovered from the spot of an encounter. On Thursday, the army was attacked by a group of militants killing four of them. Later, the army cordoned off the area and launched massive manhunt to nab or flush out the militants responsible for the attack.
The army had also picked up over a dozen civilians from the adjacent village on the basis of suspicion and interrogated them. However, the video surfaced on social media showing these detained men tortured brutally and the local sarpanch confirmed to the media that three of the civilians who died could also be seen in the video being tortured by the army.

This has prompted another inquiry from the Jammu and Kashmir police and subsequently lodging an FIR.
The FIR reads , after Thursday’s militant ambush, “… Army troops were carrying out searches in the general area of Topi Peer, Sawani, Bafliaz to locate the terrorists who escaped after the attack. During searches, Army troops detained a few local youth for questioning.”

Reportedly, three such youths Safeer Hussain son of Mir Hussain, Mohd Showkat, son of Nazir Hussain and Shabir Ahmad son of Wali Mohammad all residents of Topi, Bafliaz in Tehsil Suronkote have succumbed to injuries. As such cognisable offence under section 302 of (murder) is made out,” the FIR states.
The local administration has also offered a job and compensation to the next of kins of those killed in army custody.
While there would be two parallel enquires into the incident, it has come as a most pressing issue for the centre government which has been bragging peace and security of all civilians as it’s top most priority.
Security lapses can be fixed by the army and other security and intelligence agencies for which the army has already taken multiple initiatives. It is said that some new officers would be deployed in the area who have better understanding of counter insurgency operations and have served on ground zero for sometime.

The army chief Manoj Pandey with regard to the security lapses have already visited the area.
But the point is why civilian deaths when they are not at fault at all. What about the commitments made by centre government of ensuring security of every citizen. Why the security men are unable to control their anger following the causalities inflicted in terrorists attacks and shift their anger towards the civilians.

Why the SOPs are not followed during and after the anti terror operation in some cases. It is a very fact that situation in Jammu and Kashmir has come under significant control in the last several years with no strikes, shutdowns or pro separatist protests.

The entire region is dotted with national flags and people are fearlessly expressing love for the country unlike in past when such emotions were entirely personal and suppressed in perpetual fear. But amidst this hope of change, such incidents can potentially trigger a fresh wave of uncertainty and may spoil everything good done so far by centre in Jammu and Kashmir.

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