Srinagar: Hours after the third civilian lost his life to the injuries at SKIMS in Srinagar, the Army has filed a counter First Information Report, (FIR) over the ‘attack on its soldiers’ in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday last week.
The Army said its men were attacked by the people with stones and forced them to open fire at protesters in Shopian district last week.
In its complaint, the army had not identified the people who had attacked its convoy.
A defense source said that protesters attacked the patrolling party 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”.
Three people had died and many injured in the firing which escalated tensions and protests across the valley.
While the BJP has demanded the FIR against the army be withdrawn, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the investigation into the deaths of the civilians would be taken to its “logical conclusion”.
On Sunday, the police registered the FIR under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) against the personnel of the army’s 10 Garhwal unit. The major, who reportedly led the army personnel at the time of the incident, was also mentioned in the FIR. The army has maintained that the personnel fired in self-defence.
“Everything will come out in investigation. Notwithstanding what the state government did, we did our own inquiry and are clear that we responded when we were provoked to the ultimate,” Northern Command Lieutenant General D Anbu was quoted as saying by a private news channel.
On Monday, the Chief Minister attempted to appease angry BJP lawmakers in the state assembly, telling them her government had filed the FIR only after consulting Defence Minister in New Delhi.
“She told me that I should take action if any carelessness or anything wrong has happened,” Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti told the assembly.
The Army’s version comes after the state police registered an FIR about the incident in Ganovpora area of Shopian in south Kashmir in which two youths were killed. One more person succumbed to his injuries today, raising the toll to three.
It has claimed it opened firing in self defence after seven of its personnel were injured. The Army has also submitted photographs of the vehicles damaged in the stone pelting.
The state government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.
The FIR filed by the state police names no accused but states that a company of 10 Garhwal led by Major Aditya was on its way for official duty when it was attacked by an unruly mob with stones.
Police has filed an FIR under sections 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others), 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code, which is similar to the Indian Penal Code but applicable only in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Shopian incident became a bone of contention between the state’s ruling alliance partners PDP and BJP.