Major Aditya Not Named In Shopian Firing FIR: J&K Government Tells SC

Posted March 07, 2018

In the First Information Report (FIR) filed in the Shopian police station under section 154 CrPC, the Army said the occupants of a auto opened fire on the troops of Mobile Vehicle Check Post (MVCP) with an intent to kill them.

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.

Major Kumar and other soldiers of 10 Garhwal Rifles have been accused of opening fire on a stone-pelting mob which had attacked an Army convoy near Ganowpora village on January 27. The bench further informed that the in the meantime, there shall be no investigation on the basis of FIR till then.

The FIR was registered against personnel of 10 Garhwal Rifles under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code (the penal code applicable in Jammu and Kashmir).

The defence spokesperson in Srinagar said those killed had been travelling in two vehicles that ignored a signal to stop at a checkpost, and from which heavy firing was opened.

"The CM tweeted accepting that the youth killed in Shopian by the security forces were civilians while telling us that she was "distressed" because of this incident".

On February 12, the apex court had restrained the Jammu and Kashmir police from taking any "coercive steps" against Army officers, including Major Aditya Kumar, who was earlier reportedly named as accused in the case. He is an Army officer.

"Major Aditya is an army officer and cannot be treated like ordinary criminals by the J&K police", the SC said.Though J&K government told SC that the FIR does not name Major Aditya as an accused, the bench said because his name is mentioned in the narrative of the FIR, he could be roped in at any time.

The court's comments provoked Naphade to say, "The Army has not been responding to several letters written by the state (on the Shopian FIR) as if they are above the law".

Appearing for the Centre, attorney general K K Venugopal raised preliminary objection about the legality of the FIR and said, "No prosecution, suit or any legal proceeding can be instituted against an Army man without prior permission from the Centre". "Is there a licence to kill for the Army?" This triggered clashes, with the protestors pelting the Army convoy with stones.