Several retired officers led by Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar (retd) Tuesday staged a protest in Mumbai over the Jammu and Kashmir police’s FIR against Army personnel in the Shopian firing case, in which three civilians were killed last month.
Brar was the commander of Operation Blue Star, the Indian army’s assault on the Golden Temple in 1984, to remove Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers. He has survived several assassination attempts and is blamed by Sikh groups for killing of hundreds of innocents and destruction of Sikhism’s holiest site during the operation.
The former armed forces officers led by Brar gathered at the Azad maidan to “extend their support to the serving army officials and demanded that the Jammu and Kashmir government withdraw the FIR,” according to news agency PTI.
Three civilians were killed when Army personnel opened fire on protestors in Ganovpora village in Shopian on January 27, prompting Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to order an inquiry into the incident.
The police lodged an FIR against personnel of 10 Garhwal Rifles, including Major Aditya Kumar, under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code. The Army claims it fired in self-defence.
However, the Supreme Court yesterday stayed criminal proceedings against the Army personnel after Major Kumar’s father filed a petition in the apex court saying he wanted the FIR quashed as his son was performing his “bonafide duty” and had been “wrongly and arbitrarily” named.
The Supreme Court also issued notices to the Central and Jammu and Kashmir governments in the matter.
Earlier, PDP’s coalition partner BJP had created ruckus in the Assembly, claiming the FIR would demoralise the forces.