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NEW DELHI: The court of inquiry ordered into the July 18 Ramban firing in Jammu and Kashmir where BSF jawans allegedly killed four people and injured 40 is likely to hold the imam of a mosque and local people responsible for the flare-up that led a mob to attack the force camp.
According to sources, the inquiry report, likely to be submitted within a week, has exonerated BSF personnel of any responsibility and found that the local imam had falsely accused BSF jawans of desecrating the holy Quran.
Sources said investigations found that the video and pictures of a torn Quran circulated among local people was fake as the carpet in the madarsa did not match the carpet in the picture. It also held that BSF jawans had no option but to fire in self defence after a mob started pelting stones at the camp and tried to barge in.
Interestingly, sources said, personal issues between the local imam and a BSF jawan posted at the camp earlier are suspected to be the background of the argument that later led to the flare-up.
On July 18, BSF personnel opened fire at a mob pelting stones at its Gool camp killing four people. The mob was protesting the alleged desecration of the holy Quran by BSF personnel. According to BSF, on the preceding night, its personnel had an argument with a person related to the local imam that led to 15-20 local people ganging up against the personnel who then returned to their camp.
Late in the night, an announcement from the local mosque informed people that BSF men had desecrated the holy Quran. This led to around 500 locals gathering at the BSF camp and pelting of stones around 12.30 am. Local police was informed which dispersed the crowd by 3 am.
However, around 800 people built up at the post again in the morning and started pelting stones around 6.45 am and 9.30 am when firing "in self defence" by the BSF and police led to the death of four people.
"After the crowd was dispersed the first time, it gathered again due to pictures and videos of desecrated Quran circulated among locals through mobile phones. This picture, however, has been found to be fake as the carpet in the picture is not the same as that in the mosque. The whole purpose of spreading it was to stoke emotions," said an official privy to the investigations.
The inquiry had been delayed due to the sudden disappearance of the imam during the course of investigations. However, his questioning has now been done and a report may soon be submitted, said sources.
The force has also argued that the men at the post could not have gone to a madarsa to tear up the holy Quran as there were only four of them and far outnumbered by locals who were arguing with them.