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Army takes responsibility for Budgam firing

Army press conference

Srinagar, Nov 7 (PTI) The Army today admitted its mistake over the firing incident in Budgam district of Kashmir which left two youths dead and said that the inquiry into the same would be completed within days and action taken against anyone found guilty of violating the rules of engagement.

“Let me state this very clearly that we take responsibility for what happened (at Chattergam in Budgam),” General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army’s Northern Command, Lt Gen. DS Hooda, told reporters here.

Referring to the incident on Monday in which two youths were also injured, the top Army official said that while mistakes happen on the ground, “every time, lessons are learnt and it is our desire that procedures are put in place that such incidents do not happen”.

An inquiry has been ordered into the episode and it will be completed expeditiously, he said.

“It (inquiry) commenced the very next day (of the incident). As of now, 15 civilian witnesses have been examined. The service witnesses have been examined.

“I want to assure everyone here that the highest standards of truth and highest standards of transparency will be followed. We are targeting that the inquiry is completed within days and not months. Hopefully, if all goes well and all the witnesses come in, we will have completed the inquiry in the next 10 days,” he added.

Hooda said that the Ministry of Defence has announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the next of kin of the two deceased along with Rs 5 lakh each for the injured boys.

“We would like to assure the families of our fullest support and our fullest cooperation… We are committed to rehabilitation. We are committed to full recovery of those injured.

“The boys who were injured are being provided quality medical care at the 92 Base Hospital here and we are hopeful that there are no long-term issues as far as their medical health is concerned. The rehabilitation of the injured boys will also be taken up by us,” he said.

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