Ganovpora killings: Army opened fire in self defense, says govt 

New Delhi: The Union government on Wednesday said that the Army opened fire in Ganovpora area in Shopian district in January in ‘self-defense’. Three civilians were killed on January 27 this year after army opened fire on civilians in Ganovpora area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

Replying a question in the Rajya Sabha on First Information Report (FIR) against Indian Army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir said, “On January 27, an Army convoy came under heavy stone pelting at village Ganovpora village in Shopian district. Army personnel exercised restraint and gave repeated warnings to the mob before opening fire in self-defense.”

He informed the Upper House that three persons lost their lives and one person got injured in the incident.

The MoS said that an FIR stands registered in police station Shopian.

The central government’s statement has come when the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered to stay the probe into the Shopian firing case till April 24.

The direction from the apex court came after the state government informed the court that the name of Major Aditya Kumar of 10 Garhwal Rifles was not mentioned in the FIR lodged by the J&K Police. The court had sought the state government’s reply as well as that of the Centre in the matter two weeks ago.

The SC is hearing a petition filed by Major Aditya Kumar’s father, Lieutenant Colonel Karamveer Singh, who sought the quashing of the FIR filed against his son.

While hearing the case last month, the court had also ordered that no coercive action should be initiated against Kumar. The Centre has supported the plea stating that the state police could not have registered a case against Major Aditya Kumar and other personnel without the centre’s permission since the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA was in force in the state.

However, the Jammu-Kashmir Police had lodged an FIR under Section 302 (murder charge) against the Army personnel and his unit for opening fire on a group of a stone-pelting mob in Ganovpora village in Shopian.

While two persons were killed on the spot, a third succumbed to his injuries later. The incident prompted Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to order a probe into the killings.

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