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Army files counter-FIR in response to one by J&K police over killing of 2 civilians


(G.N.S) Dt. 31
On Saturday, January 27, two youths were killed and another injured in retaliatory firing after a mob attacked an Army convoy at Shopian’s Ganowpora village. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Monday that the probe would be taken to its logical end. A top official of the Indian Army termed it as unfortunate the naming of a Major in the FIR filed by police in the Shopian incident.
The Army has filed a counter-FIR in response to the one lodged by the Jammu and Kashmir police over the killing of two civilians in Shopian district, a TV channel reported.
On January 27, two youths were killed when Army personnel fired at a stone-pelting mob in the Ganovpora area of Shopian, prompting chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to order an inquiry into the incident.
Police had on Sunday filed an FIR under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code against the personnel of 10, Garhwal unit, of the Army. A Major, who led the Army personnel at the time of the incident, was also named in the FIR.
The Army claims it opened fire on the crowd in self-defence and in the face of the “ultimate provocation”, after seven of its personnel were injured.
A defence spokesman had said that the troops resorted to firing when a mob tried to lynch a junior commissioned officer and snatch his service weapon.
“An Army administration convoy was passing through Ganovpora when it came under unprovoked and intense stone- pelting by a group of 100-120 stone-pelters. Within no time, their number swelled to 200-250 persons,” the spokesperson said on Sunday.
Earlier today, the death toll in the alleged Army firing rose to three after a critically injured youth succumbed to injuries.
The PDP-BJP coalition in J&K is in turmoil after Mufti defended the police action and refused to cave in to the saffron party’s demands for immediate withdrawal of the FIR.
BJP MLA R S Pathania said on Monday that a magisterial probe has already been ordered into the incident and the law should be allowed to take its own course.
The army major should be taken to task for not shooting down all 250 anti nationals goons.Ashok Kumar
Countering this, Mufti said: “If some Army officer has committed a mistake, an FIR has been lodged and it is the duty of the government to take it to a logical conclusion.”
Thousands attend last rites of civilian
Thousands of people on Wednesday took part in the last rites of civilian who passed away today at SKIMS Soura.
Rayees Ahmad Ganie was injured after army opened fire on protesters in Ganowpora village of Shopian on Saturday.
He was shifted to SKIMS Soura where he succumbed in the wee hours today.
An eye witness said that four rounds of funeral prayers were held for Ganie at his ancestral graveyard in Narpora village.
He said that pro-freedom and pro-Islam slogans were raised by the mourners during his funeral.
Two youth – Javed Ahmad Bhat and Suhail Javid Lone – were killed in army firing in Ganowpora on Saturday.
‘Responded when provoked to the ultimate’
Days after the Jammu and Kashmir police booked an Army major and the Army’s 10 Garhwal on charges of murder and attempt to murder for the killing of two civilians earlier this month, a senior official of the Indian Army today issued a statement justifying the action. Lt Gen D Anbu, Commander – Northern Command, told news agency ANI that the Army had conducted its own probe into the incident and arrived at the conclusion that the soldiers had to resort to firing after they were “provoked to the ultimate”.
On Saturday, January 27, two youths were killed and another injured in retaliatory firing after a mob attacked an Army convoy at Shopian’s Ganowpora village. On Monday, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in her address to the state assembly that the investigation into the incident would be taken to its logical end. The incident and the government’s action to book the Army for the incident, has evoked some sharp reactions from its ally BJP in the state.
Reacting to the incident, Lt Gen Anbu termed as “unfortunate” the naming of an Army Major in the FIR. “That is an unfortunate thing, in such a case a generic FIR should have been filed. I think they have prematurely put the name of an individual, I am sure when they investigate truth will come out,” he said.
Lt Gen Anbu said that the filing of the FIR was an initial step and that the truth would come out in the investigation. “Notwithstanding what the state government did, we had our own inquiry and are clear that we responded when we were provoked to the ultimate,” he said.
The incident has drawn faultlines in the ruling BJP-PDP alliance in the state, with the BJP criticising the state government’s move to book the Army in the incident. Mufti’s refusal to buck to the demands of the BJP to withdraw the FIR against the Army has incensed several leaders of the saffron fold.
On Tuesday, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy tore into the Mufti government and even sought its dismissal. “What’s this nonsense? Dismiss that government. Tell Mehbooba (Mufti) to withdraw the FIR else her government would be toppled,” Swamy told ANI. Swamy also expressed displeasure at the BJP’s decision to run the government in alliance with the PDP. “Why are we even running that government? I haven’t understood that till date,” he said.

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