Supreme Court stays FIR against Army filed in J&K’s Shopian

The Supreme Court on Monday put a stay on the FIR against Army personnel in Shopian in Jammu and Kashmir. The apex court has sent a notice in this regard to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government. The FIR was stayed as the top court heard a plea filed by Army Major Aditya Kumar’s father Lieutenant Colonel Karamveer Singh.

The plea had sought quashing of FIR against his son, who is among the armymen named in the FIR in connection with firing in Shopian in Jammu and Kashmir. The Supreme Court has asked reply from Centre and state government in two weeks.

Directing that no coercive action should be taken against Major Aditya pursuant to the FIR, the top court ruled that a copy of the petition be served on office of Attorney General and counsel for Jammu and Kashmir.

In his plea in the Supreme Court, Lieutenant Colonel Singh had said that his son, a Major in the 10 Garhwal Rifles, was “wrongly and arbitrarily” named in the FIR. He added that the incident relates to an Army convoy on bonafide military duty in an area under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which was isolated by an “unruly and deranged” mob which was pelting stones causing damage to military vehicles.

It was also said that the intention of Major Aditya was to save Army personnel and property and the fire was inflicted “only to impair and provide a safe escape from a savage and violent mob engaged in terrorist activity”.

The plea also stated that the unruly mob was asked to disperse and not obstruct military but when the situation reached beyond control, they forces issued a warning to the mob to disperse.

Earlier, there were reports that the Army had filed a counter FIR in connection with the incident. However, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti clarified that no counter FIR had been filed by the Army over the death of civilians in a retaliatory firing by an Army patrol party when it was attacked with stones in Shopian on January 27.

“A day after the police filed an FIR into the firing incident, the Army filed a report about the incident in a police station. That report has been kept on record with the already filed FIR into this incident,” Mufti had told the state assembly.

Three civilians were killed in firing by Army patrol party in Ganowpora village in Shopian on January 27, when a stone-pelting mob attacked an army convoy in the village.