Fired in Self Defense: Text of Army Statement

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SRINAGAR: A foot patrol of Army while moving from Convoy Ground Baramulla to the company operating base when it was attacked by an unruly and violent mob of over 250 people. The aggressive mob, despite repeated warnings and caution, surrounded the patrol and people from within the crowd started attacking the Army personnel. The Army patrol was soon outnumbered, leaving some of them injured.

A person out of the mob assaulted the Army personnel with an iron rod creating a life threatening situation. To extricate themselves, the patrol fired, aiming in the air which could not have resulted into any injury. In any case, the place of incident where the person died was well away from the location of the patrol and could have no way been affected by the firing by the patrol in the air. This calls for detailed investigation by the Police.

Army reiterates that the death of Tariq Ahmad s/o Ghulam Rasul could not have been caused due the firing by the Army personnel as extreme caution was exercised by them and the fire was deliberately aimed in the air. There were intelligence inputs with regard to the plans by the terrorists to entangle Army personnel, particularly in Baramulla, in a protest and to attack the Army taking shield of the crowd with a view to trigger large scale violence. This was aimed at providing fodder for the inimical elements to disturb the peace in Kashmir. The death of the individual seems to be a part of the said design and the Army has ordered an investigation to get to the bottom of the truth.

Notwithstanding this, Army regrets the loss of life and assures the awaam that Army is always there for them and would do nothing against the security of the people. Army further appealed to the awaam not to fall prey to such nefarious designs of the inimical elements.

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