Human rights organisation Amnesty India on Wednesday called for an “independent and impartial” investigation into the deaths of seven civilians in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on October 21, and said that those responsible for the deaths should be “brought to justice”, PTI reported.

“In case of any direct or indirect violence between security forces and armed groups, extra caution should be exercised to ensure that civilians in the area do not become collateral damage,” Amnesty India Executive Director Aakar Patel was quoted as saying. “Safety of the civilian population should be of paramount importance.”

Indian security forces have been blamed for the incident, which took place after an explosive went off at the site of an encounter between the forces and suspected militants. The police claimed locals entered the site as soon as the gunfight ended despite warnings and were injured or killed when an explosive substance went off.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday condemned the “killing of innocent Kashmiris by Indian security forces” – a remark not taken kindly by India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

“What transpired in the aftermath of the Kulgam encounter is unfortunate and could have been avoided,” Patel said on Wednesday. “While we acknowledge that a case has been registered, we urge the authorities to ensure all those responsible for the incident are brought to justice for their failure to protect the human rights of the population of Jammu and Kashmir.”