Shopian killings: Ex-servicemen demand withdrawal of FIR against Army personnel

Jammu: An organisation of ex-servicemen staged a rally in Jammu on Monday demanding withdrawal of an FIR registered against Army personnel in Shopian recently. The former army men also sought the deportation of Rohingya and Bangladeshi nationals from Jammu and Kashmir.

They also demanded stern action against stone-pelters and a provision to allow Army and paramilitary personnel to settle in the state by amending Article 370 of the Constitution.

Dozens of members from different parts of the country assembled under the banner of Voice of Ex-servicemen Society and took out a rally from Kachhi Chawani to Civil Secretariat, the seat of government in the heart of the city.

However, they were stopped by police near the secretariat and dispersed off peacefully after the submission of a memorandum to a senior police officer.

The memorandum highlighted the sacrifices being rendered by the security forces in the service of the nation in the state and raised various important issues that need immediate attention, national co-ordinator of the society, Bir Bahadur Singh, a former para trooper from Uttar Pradesh, told PTI.

He said the rally was staged to press for unconditional withdrawal of an FIR against an Army unit in Shopian district of south Kashmir. The FIR was lodged against the Army after three youth were killed when the troops opened fire after their convoy came under stone-pelting last month.

Singh, who retired from service in 2015, said the participants of the rally had come from various states and demanded amendment in the Article 370 of the Constitution, giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir, to allow soldiers to settle in the state.

Terming the presence of Rohingya and Bangladeshis in Jammu as a threat to the national security, he demanded their immediate deportation. They are illegal refugees and have settled near security camps. They should be immediately evicted and deported to their countries, he said.

Singh demanded stern action against the youth indulging in stone-pelting on security forces during counter-insurgency operations in the valley. If the government failed to act on their demands, over one lakh members of the society will fill the streets in Srinagar to carry forward their campaign, he said.

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