Centre defends Army in Shopian firing case, says shooting was in self-defence

Centre defends Army in Shopian firing case, says shooting was in self-defence
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New Delhi, Mar 7: In a virtual clean chit by the Centre to Major Aditya Kumar and Army personnel of 10 Garhwal Rifles into the Ganowpora, Shopian firing incident in which three civilians were killed, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday told Parliament that “Indian Army personnel exercised restraint and gave repeated warnings to the mob to disperse before opening fire in self defence.”
This was stated by Minister of State (MoS) Hansraj Ahir to a Parliament question asked by Member of Parliament (MP) Amar Singh.
The MoS Home Affair’s reply came after an unstarred question in the upper house of Parliament on Wednesday sought details from the nodal ministry. The Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir has been at extreme ends on the issue.
MHA further stated that on January 27 this year, a convoy of Indian Army came under heavy stone pelting in Ganowpora village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Describing that the three persons had died and one person was injured, MHA simply stated that an FIR stands registered in the Shopian Police Station.
Significantly, this comes two days after the Supreme Court stayed a probe by the Jammu and Kashmir government into the January 27 Shopian firing incident ignoring the state’s request to allow it to probe the FIR lodged against the Army over the incident.
A bench chaired by Chief Justice Dipak Misra ordered the state government to put the investigation on hold till April 24 when it would deliver its ruling in this case. “After all, it is a case of an Army officer, not an ordinary criminal,” Chief Justice observed.
Police had charged Major Aditya and his 10 Garhwal Rifles unit with murder, attempt to murder, and endangering the lives of civilians in Shopian district.
Three civilians had died when the Army unit had opened fire on protesters in Shopian’s Ganowpora village on January 27.