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Shopian deaths: I will dig out the truth, says CM

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
June 04, 2009 23:30 IST
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In order to address public outrage and anger over the alleged rape and murder of two young women in Shopian town of south Kashmir, state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday evening reiterated his government's commitment to 'dig out the truth'.

The chief minister said Neloofar and Asiya (the two victims) 'were like his sisters' and he, as a brother, feels the pain of the tragedy that has befallen the victims' family.'

He said he will not rest 'till he finds the truth behind their mysterious death'.

"I won't permit anybody to suppress the truth under any circumstances and if any official is found wanting, exemplary punishment would be given to him. I feel the pain which will only be removed once we find out the truth," Abdullah said.

The chief minister said that a judicial enquiry has been ordered and 'every thing possible will be done to bring out the truth behind the death of the women'.  

Meanwhile, hundreds of people attended the burial of the local youth in uptown Barzulla area Monday who succumbed to injuries, three days after he was hit by a teargas shell in his head in protests against the alleged rape and murder of two young women by security forces in south Kashmir Shopian town.

The youth, 24-year old Nisar Ahmad Bhat who received a teargas shell hit on his head on Monday evening battled for life in the hospital for four long days.

As the news reached uptown Barzulla locality to which he belonged and where he had been hit by the shell, tempers ran high as youth took to streets pelting stones on the security forces and passing private vehicles. Security forces fired teargas and used batons to disperse the protestors.

Protests were also held in other parts of Srinagar even as security restrictions continued to remain in force in old city.

For the fourth day running life in the entire valley was paralyzed in view of the protest shut down called by hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani who was released late Wednesday evening by the police.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar