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Unprovoked stone pelting in Kashmir leads to firing and two civilian deaths, Omar Abdullah blamed Govt even before details emerged

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The army was faced with unprovoked firing today. Report of one death came at 3:41PM. Later the figure was corrected as two deaths by ANI. Initial reports suggested that the firing and death was triggered by stone pelting. Further details were awaited.

However, Omar Abdullah jumped the gun and started criticizing the government for these deaths even before the full details were available. He got into a Twitter argument with JKPDP youth president Waheed Ur Rahman. The National Conference leader replied to Waheed

If this wasn’t a day when your Govt had shot two more youth I would have happily wasted my time with you but to do so today is an insult to them & to those they leave behind.

However the army clarified the reason for firing and death of the 2 youths later in the evening. The Defence PRO said that the convoy was attacked by 100-120 stone pelters and the crowd had grown to 200-250 people. The crowd tried to set the convoy on fire and therefore the army was constrained to open fire against the stone pelters in self defence. Seven army men suffered in the violence and two civilians had been killed in defensive fire.

This episode seems to point to the fact that Omar Abdullah has an inherent bias against the army. He has still not clarified his allegations against the state government. Will Omar Abdullah retract his statement and appeal to the youth of Kashmir not to indulge in violence? We need to wait and watch.

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