Anantnag: Suggesting that he would not have stepped back from prosecuting the army for civilian killings had he been the chief minister, leader of Opposition Omar Abdullah on Thursday expressed surprise at the way the Mehbooba Mufti government had pleaded its case against the army in the Supreme Court.
The former chief minister and National Conference working president said that the J&K government’s declaration in the Supreme Court that Major Aditya Kumar of the army’s 10 Garhwal Rifles unit was not named in the police FIR was an evident falsehood. “These are not times when nobody can have access to an FIR. This is the age of social media and everyone had access to this FIR and everyone knows what was written in it,” he said.
Omar made the remarks here in Anantnag, where he was visiting a party MLA to condole the demise of one of his relatives.
On January 27, the army opened fire and killed three young students in Ganawpora village of Shopian district. The police registered an FIR in the case in which it named the 10 Garhwal Rifles and Major Aditya Kumar as leading its troops.
A day after the incident, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in the state assembly that the police investigation would be taken to its “logical conclusion”. On March 5, however, her government told the Supreme Court, where a petition had been filed by Major Aditya’s father to restrain the JK Police and the JK government from carrying out any investigation in the case, that Major Aditya was not named in the FIR.
“I am really surprised how they pleaded it (the case). Everyone knows what was written in the FIR,” Omar told reporters here.
“She (Mehbooba) on the floor of the assembly, not once but twice, assured that the FIR will be taken to its logical conclusion. What happened to that assurance?” he asked.
Omar was also asked about the civilian killings at the hands of the army on March 4 in Pahnoo area of Shopian district. He replied that there were contradictions in the army and the government’s statements regarding the incident.
“All everybody wants is the truth and I am no exception. What the army told us and what the government said has serious contradictions,” he said.
The army initially labelled the slain civilians as Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of the militants killed in the shootout, and said the civilians and the militants were travelling together. Later, the army said that investigations will ascertain the level of cooperation between the slain civilians and militants.
Mehbooba Mufti in her statement on Twitter, however, said she was “deeply distressed by more deaths of civilians caught in the crossfire.”