Thursday, 18 July 2013
6 killed in BSF firing at Jammu protest over mosque entry
J&K Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo says BSF opened fire when residents were protesting the entry of some personnel into a mosque with shoes.
Six civilians were killed and at least 10 others injured when Border Security Force opened fire on a group of protesters at Dharam Sharti village in Gool area of Ramban district on Thursday morning.
Jammu and Kashmir Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo, who reached the spot alongwith Director General of Police Ashok Prasad, confirmed the death of four persons. He said a number of people have been injured and rushed to different hospitals.
A deputy Superintendent of Police in the area however said that six persons died and 10 sustained injuries. He said that over a thousand of the demonstrators had gathered afresh and refusing to take custody of the dead bodies before declaration of arrest of the BSF men involved in the firing and alleged desecration of a place of worship and the holy scriptures.
Mr. Kichloo told The Hindu that BSF opened fire when the residents of a village were protesting against the entry of some BSF personnel into a mosque with shoes. The imam and others also alleged desecration of the Quran at the hands of the personnel.
Senior officials including IGP Jammu Rajesh Kumar and Divisional Commissioner Jammu Pradeep Gupta were also trying to defuse tension in a hilly terrain in the middle of Pir Panjal mountain range that divides Kashmir and Jammu divisions.
Sources said that an overnight altercation between the Imam of a mosque and the BSF unit guarding a railway track led to into a major demonstration and clash in the morning. Reports said that BSF opened fire after some people attacked their camp and left two personnel including a Safai Karamchari injured. Resident, however, said that the BSF action was unwarranted and without provocation.
BSF sources refused to comment and said that IG BSF would hold a press conference in Jammu at 3 p.m. and issue a detailed statement.