The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday took an obvious U-turn in the Supreme Court when it told the bench that Major Aditya Kumar’s name was not mentioned in the FIR filed against Army personnel in the Shopian killing case. The apex court was hearing Lt Col (Retd) Karamveer Singh’s plea who was seeking to quash the FIR against Major Aditya. In the status report submitted by the J&K government to the top court stated that his son has not been named as accused in the FIR lodged by the police seeking investigation in the firing incident.
The bench – Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud – had earlier asked Major Aditya’s father to share copies of his petition with the office of attorney general KK Venugopal and the state government. Major Aditya’s father has moved the apex court seeking that the FIR against Army men in the Shopian firing case is quashed. Major Kumar is named in the Shopian FIR and the plea by the father seeks to quash the FIR against his son to “protect the morale” of the troops.
In his petition, Major Kumar’s father has said that the way in which the FIR was filed and the political speeches around it indicate the hostile atmosphere in which troops are operating in Jammu and Kashmir. A decorated Army Officer, Major Kumar’s father has, in his petition, said that the soldiers ofIndian Army are facing all odds in the performance of their bonafide duties and are laying down their lives in the line of duty.
“The manner in which the lodging of the FIR has been portrayed and projected by the political leadership and administrative higher-ups of the state reflects the extremely hostile atmosphere in the state,” the petition, a copy of which is with Times Now, says. According to the petition, Major Aditya Kumar of 10 Garhwal Rifles, was “wrongly” named in FIR No.26/2018 dated 27.01.2018, P.S. Shopian under sections 336, 307, 302 of Ranbir Penal Code.
The incident reported in the said FIR relates to an Army convoy on bonafide military duty in an area under the AFSPA which was isolated by an unruly and deranged mob who were pelting the said vehicles with stones, causing damage to the military vehicles. The petition argues that the Army authorities acted under orders from their superiors who in turn received orders from the Government of India as by law established.
“The unruly mob was requested to disperse and not to obstruct military persons in the performance of their duties and not to damage government property… The unruly behaviour of the unlawful assembly reached its peak when they got hold of a Junior Commissioned Officer and was in the process of lynching him to death. It was at this moment that warning shots were fired at the unlawful assembly which as per the said terms of engagement is the last resort to be taken before opening fire,” the petition says.