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Youth's killing triggers protests in Kashmir

October 24, 2009 21:50 IST

The killing of a youth, by the army in northern Kashmir's Baramulla district, triggered protests on Saturday, even as the army claimed that the youth had forcibly entered their camp and injured a soldier.

The youth, identified as 25-year old Sajad Ahmad Ganai, was asked to stop by a guard manning the main gate of an army camp in north Kashmir's Wattergam village in Baramulla.

When the youth did not heed the warning, the sentry opened fire, killing him instantly, sources said.

However, a defence spokesperson said, "Suspicious movement by an individual was observed near the Watergam army camp today morning'.

"On being challenged by the sentry, he charged at the sentry with an axe and hit him on his head and right shoulder, thereby injuring him seriously. He then jumped inside the camp gate and tried to charge at the other sentries in the camp.  In the retaliatory gunfire, he was shot dead inside the camp.  An inquiry has been ordered into the incident and a FIR has been lodged," Lieutenant Colonel J S Brar said.

The killing triggered protests in the slain youth's native Handwara area. The body was handed over to the relatives today afternoon, but they have refused to bury it, and demanded an inquiry into the killing.

The protestors, led by local Member of Legislative Assembly Abdul Rashid, have blocked the Baramulla-Kupwara highway.

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar