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Kashmir

‘This is the prize we got for working for the nation,’ says BSF Soldier and Brother of Civilian Killed in J&K’s Poonch

Photo: KDC

Following a militant ambush on two Army vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, three civilians, who were picked up for questioning in connection with the attack, were found dead in the Topa Pir area.

The deceased civilians have been identified as Safeer Ahmed (48) and his two cousins, Mohammad Showkat (28) and Shabir Ahmed (25).

The attack on Thursday evening resulted in the death of four Army soldiers, with three others sustaining injuries.

Safeer Ahmed’s brother, Noor Ahmed, a Head Constable in the Border Security Force, expressed deep sorrow, stating, “This is the prize we have got for working for the nation.”

The circumstances surrounding the civilians’ deaths remain unclear, but the local administration imposed unprecedented restrictions on movement and suspended mobile internet services in the affected border districts.

The government has announced compensation for the deceased and compassionate appointments for their next of kin.

“The death of three civilians was reported yesterday in Baffliaz of Poonch District. The medico legal formalities were conducted and legal action in this matter has been initiated by the appropriate authority. Government has announced compensation for each of the deceased. Further Government has also announced compassionate appointments to the next of kin of each deceased,” the Information & PR, J&K informed in a statement.

The Army’s Public Relations Officer in Jammu stated they had no information about the deceased and injured villagers. The J&K administration initiated legal action, and an enquiry has been ordered by Poonch Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Yasin Choudhary.

Five other civilians, including Fazal Hussain (45), Mohammad Mehtab (25), Zulfikar (14), Farooq Ahmed, and Mohammad Arshad, were hospitalized at Government Medical College Hospital, Rajouri.

Allegations of torture marks on the bodies of the deceased have emerged, with unconfirmed graphic videos circulating on social media. Relatives claim that the injured were left on the roadside by security forces.

Former Chief Minister and President of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti, expressed concern over the reported civilian killings following the ambush of a security forces’ operational team. She called for a comprehensive and unbiased investigation into the alleged deaths of three civilians, highliting the shocking state of their mutilated bodies and widespread reports of torture inflicted on detained villagers.

“The ongoing miseries faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir have reached a horrifying peak,” Mufti said at a press conference here. “Three innocent lives have been snatched away, their bodies said to be bearing brutal marks of torture while authorities have maintained a criminal silence. Can anyone dare claim normalcy in a land where such barbarity runs rampant?”

The local administration has assured financial assistance, government jobs, and other support to the affected families. Poonch Deputy Commissioner promised Rs 30 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased, along with a 10-marla plot at Surankote and a government job.

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