SHOPIAN FIRING: Army files counter-FIR

NEW DELHI/Srinagar, Jan 31: The Indian Army on Wednesday filed a counter-FIR against the stonepelters in Kashmir’s Shopian, in which two protesters were killed on the spot and a third died later.
The Army’s counter-FIR came after the Jammu and Kashmir Police registered a case of murder and attempt to murder against Major Aditya and his unit, 10 Garhwal Rifles for opening fire on stonepelters.
“Indian Army files a counter FIR in Shopian incident in which two civilians were killed in army firing on January 27. It is as per standard practice after any such incident. All aspects of the defensive action by the Army are detailed,” Army sources said here.
Earlier, the sources also said that the Army will not constitute any Court of Inquiry (CoI) against Major Aditya in connection with the killing of two youths in Sophian’s Ganowpora village on Saturday.
The incident occurred when the 10 Garhwal Rifles was being replaced by another unit. The Army had claimed that it opened fire in self-defence after its personnel were injured in stonepelting.
Since 2001, the State police have sought permission 51 times to prosecute army personnel but the Centre has denied permission in 47 cases and the request in three cases is still pending, the sources said. (Agencies)
Meanwhile the Army has submitted its version of the January 27 incident, when its convoy was attacked in Shopian district, to the Jammu and Kashmir Police and explained its reasons for opening fire at the stone pelting mob, officials said today.
According to the Army’s narrative, submitted yesterday, the force’s convoy was attacked by a group of stone pelters and its personnel resorted to firing to save themselves, the officials said.
The Army’s version comes after the state police registered an FIR about the incident in Ganovpora area of Shopian in south Kashmir in which two youths were killed. One more person succumbed to his injuries today, raising the toll to three.
It has claimed it opened firing in self defence after seven of its personnel were injured. The Army has also submitted photographs of the vehicles damaged in the stone pelting.
The state government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.
The FIR filed by the state police names no accused but states that a company of 10 Garhwal led by Major Aditya was on its way for official duty when it was attacked by an unruly mob with stones.
Police has filed an FIR under sections 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others), 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code, which is similar to the Indian Penal Code but applicable only in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Shopian incident became a bone of contention between the state’s ruling alliance partners PDP and BJP.
A BJP legislator demanded on the floor of the House that the FIR be cancelled. This was, however, turned down by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who said the FIR will be taken to its logical conclusion.