Shopian killings: Major Kumar not named in FIR, J&K clarifies
The J&K government has told the SC that Major Aditya Kumar hadn't been named in the FIR on the Shopian civilian killings. J&K Police had charged the 10th Garhwal Unit of the Indian Army with murder, but there was controversy over Kumar's inclusion. According to the army, he was leading the "administrative convoy" and wasn't even at the firing site.
Villagers claimed security personnel were attempting to remove posters of a slain militant on January 27 when an altercation ensued and they opened fire. But the army says a 200-strong mob attacked a convoy at Ganaupura Chowk, tried to set vehicles ablaze and lynch a jawan. Two civilians were killed on the spot, and another died later after being wounded. Seven soldiers sustained injuries.
Among others, J&K Police charged the army with murder. Later, Kumar's father moved the SC seeking quashing of the FIR. Kumar wasn't there when the incident happened, he claimed, and authorities had named him "in an arbitrary exercise of power." Soldiers' rights should be protected, he argued. He highlighted that "violent mobs have frequently obstructed bonafide government duties and resorted to lynching of officials."
Last month, the SC had put the FIR on hold and stayed criminal proceedings against Kumar. It had sought responses from the Center and J&K government. The FIR named an army officer and not a criminal, it observed. But that "doesn't mean he has the license to kill," the state government argued. The final hearing has been listed for April 24.