The Indian army has taken responsibility for the death of two teenagers after its soldiers in India-administered Kashmir fired upon a car which also left two injured, according to local media reports.
“There was some information about a white car with terrorists. Obviously, the identity was mistaken in this case. We take responsibility for the death,” Lieutenant General DS Hooda, the Northern Army commander, said in a press conference, according to local channel, NDTV.
On Monday, five teenagers were shot at while driving through the Chattergam area, in Budgam district. While two died and two were injured, one managed to escape to the fields. The army’s unit claimed that they fired at the car when it didn’t stop despite being signalled at the checkpoint.
The families of the boys, however, allege that the firing started without warning, NDTV said.
Hooda promised a transparent inquiry and action if the rules had been violated. The army inquiry will be completed in 10 days, he said.
Meanwhile, a state government report has said that the car had skidded and hit an electric pole when it was fired at.
The incident has provoked massive outrage and protests in the region.
According to another local channel CNN-IBN, the Indian army has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh ($16,245) to the family of the deceased and Rs 5 lakh ($8,122) to the injured. They also assured that any rehabilitation required for the injured will also be taken care of.
“Mistakes happen. We are admitting that mistakes have happened. We assure everyone that the highest standard of transparency will be followed,” Hooda said.
“We share the sorrow and grief of the families. We express deepest regret over the loss of lives,” he said.