A top Indian Army commander Wednesday said troops were unaffected by the Jammu and Kashmir police’s FIR against a Major and his unit in connection with the killing of three youth in Shopian district last month.
“I am heading the Northern Command and I can say it with confidence that the issue of Major Aditya has not dented the morale of my troops, not even a bit, not even an iota,” Northern Command chief Lt Gen D Anbu said in Udhampur.
“I can say it with confidence because I meet them, I move around and I speak through my commanders and know the pulse,” he said.
The officer said that there were no human rights (HRs) violation reported against the Army in the last one year.
“In the last one year, you have not seen any human rights violations taking place. That is (because of the) direction from me to the commanders. You will not find any one of them willfully indulging in it. Our intentions are clear so there is nothing to worry about,” he said.
However, Anbu said that the Shopian case was sub-judice and would take its own course.
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 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.
Earlier, PDP’s coalition partner BJP had created ruckus in the Assembly, claiming the FIR would demoralise the forces.
Gen Anbu said India’s Defence minister had made a statement during her visit to Jammu that the “government and the ministry of defence are totally behind the soldiers and armed forces.”
He also hit back at AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s statement that Muslim soldiers were killed in the Sunjuwan attack in Jammu, saying the Army does not communalise its soldiers.
“We take on the religion of our troops and we do not communalise any of them. There is ‘sarva dharma sthal’ in every formation. Go to Badamibagh (a cantonment in Srinagar) or Udhampur (the Northern Command headquarters) or even my residence,” he said.