Srinagar, Feb 22: Four youths including two teenaged boys, were killed when security forces allegedly opened fire on a group of youths playing cricket in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir today triggering protests by local people, official sources said.
The incident occurred in village Doodipora in Handwara area, 95 kms from here, when the troops were returning to their camp after an area domination patrol, the sources said.
As they signaled one person, moving under suspicious circumstances, to stop for checking, he started running provoking the troops to open fire, they said.
While the person managed to escape, four others playing cricket in a field nearby were hit by the spray of bullets of whom three – identified as Shakir Ahmad Wani (10), Abdul Samad Mir (20) and Ghulam Rasool Bhat (21) – died instantly, the sources said.
Shakir Ahmad Wani, a class four student, was critically injured in the shooting and succumbed to injuries at sub-district hospital, Handwara, they said.
As the news of the death of the boys spread, people from the village and adjoining areas reached Handwara town to lodge their protest, the sources said.
The protestors smashed windscreens of several vehicles, including that of a congress activist who was passing by.
The situation in the area was tense and senior police and civil officers rushed to the scene to restore law and order, the sources said.
The protestors accused the army of killing the four youths without any provocation and demanded stern action against the guilty, the sources said.
However, the local army unit claimed that the four had died in crossfire between the troops and the militants, they said.