New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Concerned over local protests after a Jammu and Kashmir teenager was killed by army personnel, Defence Minister A.K. Antony Thursday ordered a probe into the incident and directed the army to initiate strict action if anyone was found guilty.
"The defence minister has ordered an inquiry into the killing of a youth in Bandipore. He has directed the army to take strict action if anybody is found guilty in the case," defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said here.
The Bandipore district magistrate has also ordered a magisterial probe into the killing of 19-year-old Hilal Ahmad Dar of Aloosa village. He was shot dead in an alleged staged shootout between army personnel and suspected militants Tuesday.
On Wednesday, spontaneous protests broke out in the area after Dar's body was handed over to relatives for burial. About two dozen villagers were injured in clashes with police in Bandipore town when protestors carrying his body shouted anti-government slogans and pelted stones at the security forces.
Villagers and the victim's family said Dar was innocent and was killed after the Ramadan evening 'Tarawi' prayers.
However, an army officer in Srinagar claimed that the security personnel had recovered weapons from the killed youth's possession.
Srinagar-based 15 Corps General Officer Commanding Lt. Gen. Om Prakash said that "when a group of militants approached the ambush, they were challenged to surrender, upon which they opened fire on the troops. One person was killed in the encounter from whose possession a weapon has also been recovered".