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One killed, 3 injured in firing

By Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR DEC. 6. One civilian was killed and three were injured when Rashtriya Rifles personnel opened fire on a procession in Baramulla district. The incident appears to be a fallout of a raid conducted by the Rashtriya Rifles on a civilian's house in Bangdara village on the eve of Id.

Reports said that a party from 22 Rashtriya Rifles raided the house of a civilian, Ghulam Mohammad Malik, in Bangdara village, three kilometres from the Srinagar-Baramullah National Highway, last night. The house was reportedly blasted by the Army after declaring it as a militant hideout. Local residents allege that they turned vindictive after the house-owner lodged a complaint. "So they tried to frame him,'' said a resident.

This incident led to strong protests and about 3000 angry residents went in procession towards Baramullah. The RR unit stopped them and opened fired on them after an altercation. Four civilians, who were injured in the incident were rushed to hospital. The district authorities and the local MLA, Ghulam Nabi Lone, tried to pacify the protesters. But when the news of the death of one of the injured, Mohammad Sultan Malik, reached them, the angry residents rallied to protest again.

The police fired in the air to disperse the crowd, but failed. The protesters refused to bury the body of the dead person and the situation continued to be tense.

The Army has, however, denied the allegation and defended its action. It said the raid was conducted on the basis of specific information.

Meanwhile six militants — four of foreign origin and two local men were killed in an ambush by the Army in Dandmohah village near Kreeri in the same area. They are believed to be members of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

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