The Indian Army has filed a counter FIR in response to the one lodged by the Jammu and Kashmir Police against it regarding the Shopian killings.
The police had lodged an FIR against the Army, and a major of the 10 Garhwal Unit for murder, attempt to murder, and endangering life or personal safety, after two civilians— Javaid Ahmad and Suhail Lone— were killed in Army firing in Ganowpora village of Shopian district on Saturday.
10 more people had sustained injuries in the firing, one of whom Rayees Ahmad succumbed at a hospital in Srinagar on Wednesday.
Local residents accused the Army of indiscriminate firing after they resisted attempts to remove banners of slain Hizbul Mujahideen militants. The Army claims it fired in self-defence.
Quoting sources, NDTV reported that in its complaint the army had not “identified the people who had attacked its convoy with stones and bricks, endangering the lives of soldiers and damaged government property. It is for the police to probe the case, identify the suspects and prosecute them.”
Speaking to reporters in Pune, the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Devraj Anbu said that the firing was done in self-defence and investigation will bring out the truth. He said that the Army responded only after being “provoked to the ultimate”.
He said the police should have filed a “generic FIR” in the case instead of “prematurely” naming a Major as an accused.
Ruling BJP legislators have held protests in the Assembly and demanded the withdrawal of the FIR lodged against the army personnel, adding that a fresh FIR should be lodged without naming any army personnel.
One BJP legislator said “serious charges” had been levelled against the army in the FIR, which appeared that it had been “done under pressure,” prompting Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to say that the case will be taken to its logical conclusion.