The Army on Friday admitted that the killing of two youths in Budgam district by its soldiers earlier this week was a “mistake“ and a violation of the rules of engagement.
The Army said it would complete its inquiry within 10 days and take action against the guilty.
Northern Army commander Lt Gen D S Hooda told reporters:We sincerely wish the killing of civilians hadn't happened. We share the sorrow of the families.
Faisal Yusuf Bhat, 14, and Mehrajuddin Dar, 21, were killed and two others injured in Chhattergam on November 3 when soldiers of 53 Rashtriya Rifles fired on their car.
The Army had claimed the car jumped two mobile check posts set up following information about terrorists in a white car.
The SHO of Chadoora, Arshid Ahmed, said neither he nor his police station had any such input.
There was some information about a white car with terrorists.Obviously , the identity was mistaken in this case.
However, SHO of Chadoora police station Arshid Ahmed refuted the Army's claims .
GoC 15 Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha admitted there was a violation of the rules of engagement.
We are questioning ourselves why firing took place and why rules were not followed.
The defence ministry offered a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs 5 lakh each to the injured.
A fifth boy, Wasim Amin, who survived the hail of bullets, claimed a clutch of soldiers fired at the car when it didn't stop immediately .
Defence spokesman Col Brijesh Pandey said the injured youth disclosed that there were five occupants in the car.
Amin had escaped from the car after the firing by crawling out of the window.
Sources said the killings were being debated in the defence services with many in the Army believing that the soldiers not only violated the standard operating procedure, but ruined the goodwill earned by the Army with its rescue and relief operations during the recent floods in the state. The killings have triggered protests in Nowgam which have continued for the past four days.