Shopian Firing: SC Stays FIR Against Army officer

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today stayed the FIR against an Army officer who was booked as an accused by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in the recent Shopian firing incident in which three civilians were killed.

The state police had filed an FIR against Major Aditya Kumar, an officer in 10 Garhwal Rifles, in connection with the incident. His father had moved the SC seeking quashing of the FIR against his son.

The top court has also restrained the government from taking any coercive action against Army officials allegedly involved in the firing case.

It has issued a notice to the Centre and the state government over the issue and has sought reply within two weeks.

The apex Court on Friday, February 9, 2018, had agreed to hear the plea of Major Aditya’s father on Monday.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered advocate Aishwarya Bhati’s submission that the father’s plea be heard on an urgent basis.

The lawyer said the FIR has illegally been lodged against Major Aditya Kumar in connection with the firing incident in Shopian.

Lieutenant Colonel Karamveer Singh has said his son Aditya Kumar, a Major in 10 Garhwal Rifles, was “wrongly and arbitrarily” named in the FIR as the incident relates to an Army convoy that was on bonafide military duty in an area under the AFSPA and was isolated by an “unruly and deranged” mob pelting stones, causing damage to military vehicles.

Three civilians were killed when Army personnel fired at a stone-pelting mob in Ganovpora village in Shopian, prompting the chief minister to order an inquiry into the incident.

The FIR was registered against personnel of 10 Garhwal Rifles, including Major Kumar, under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code.

The petitioner has sought directions for guidelines to protect the rights of soldiers and adequate compensation so that no Army personnel is harassed by initiation of criminal proceedings for bonafide actions in exercise of their duties.

Karamveer Singh said in his plea that his son’s intention 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“.

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