The father of an Army officer on Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash an FIR registered against his son for the death of three civilians in an Army firing in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district last month, NDTV reported. He claimed that his son Major Aditya was falsely accused by the state police in its FIR.
On January 27, the soldiers had objected to a black flag with Islamic inscriptions perched across a lane in Ganowpara village. Their demand to remove the flag, commonly associated with the Islamic State jihadist group, did not go down well with the villagers, who took it as an infringement on their religious beliefs. This triggered the clashes with the protestors pelting a convoy with stones. Three men were killed after the Army opened fire.
The Jammu and Kashmir police had filed a case against the Army’s 10th Garhwal Rifles unit, which was involved in the incident. The Army had filed a counter FIR and claimed that the protestors had provoked the soldiers of the 10th Garhwal Rifles unit “to the ultimate”.
Major Aditya’s father said his son was not there at the time of the incident, but was named accused in an “arbitrary exercise of power”, The Times of India reported. In its submissions, the Army too has contended that Major Aditya was leading the convoy and was some distance away when the firing started.
“Army personnel present there were doing lawful military duty peacefully,” The Times of India quoted the petition as saying. The petition added that the Army personnel were “forced to take lawful actions for protection of government property without any excessive use of force” by the mob’s “violent actions”. The petitioner further alleged that violent mobs in Kashmir have in the past “obstructed bonafide government duties”.