(G.N.S) Dt. 29
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday demanded the withdrawal of a First Information Report registered against Army men, including one holding the rank of Major, for killing two civilians in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday.
The BJP MLA from Ramnagar, RS Pathania, took objection to an FIR being registered since an inquiry had not been conducted, The Indian Express reported. “I do not get this part that how can you lay the blame on a person on the very first day,” he asked in the Assembly. “Whatever happened in the past few days is a law-and-order matter, and no one should politicise it.”
Pathania asked the government, led by the BJP’s coalition partner the Peoples Democratic Party, to lodge a new FIR without naming anybody. His statement comes a day after his colleague from Nowshera, Ravinder Raina, justified the Army’s move to fire at the civilians.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, however, dismissed the BJP’s concern that the government’s move would demoralise the Army, and said the FIR would be taken to its logical conclusion, the Hindustan Times reported. “I do not think the Army will be demoralised by a single FIR,” Mufti said. “Army is an institution and it has played a good role but there can be black sheep.”
Opposition leader Omar Abdullah of the National Conference asked why the government announced a magisterial probe when an FIR had already been registered against the Army personnel. “This continuous vicious cycle of killings must end,” Abdullah said. “We all have to end this bloodshed. We do not want to play politics over it.”
The Army had claimed on Sunday that it was forced to open fire on civilians in self defence after they began to pelt stones at a convoy and injure officers. The two who died were identified as 20-year-old Javid Ahmad Bhat and 24-year-old Suhail Javid Lone.
The police filed a case against the Army’s 10th Garhwal Rifles unit, which was involved in the incident. The unit has been booked for murder and attempt to murder.
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