Army Indicts 9 soldiers For Chattergam Killings

SRINAGAR: Nine soldiers have been indicted for killing two youth in Budgam district on November 3 and will face court martial, the Army said here on Thursday. 

"Nine soldiers of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), including a junior commissioned officer, have been indicted for the firing incident in Chattergam area in which two youth were killed. 

"The court of inquiry appointed to probe the firing has found gross violation of rules of engagement by the involved soldiers. They have been indicted. There has been a total failure of the command by the officer in charge," a senior Army officer said here. 

Widespread public anger followed the killings of two youth — Faisal Yusuf Bhat and Mehrajuddin Dar — in Chattergam area of Budgam district on November 3 by a mobile vehicle check post set up by the soldiers of 53 RR. 

The Army had initially said the car in which the youth were travelling had not halted at the security checkpoint. 

Lieutenant General DS Hooda, GOC-in-C of Army's northern command, later admitted the deployed column of the RR had overstepped its brief and violated the rules of engagement while opening fire at the car.

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