Shopian firing: Ex-Army chief Malik demands withdrawal of FIR
Ahmedabad: Former chief of Army Staff, General (retd) V P Malik on Sunday demanded withdrawal of an FIR registered by the Jammu and Kashmir Police against an Army officer in connection with the recent Shopian firing incident.
Saying that a soldier has the right to defend himself, the former Army chief termed the J&K police's decision to book Major Aditya Kumar as "totally uncalled for and wrong", as the FIR was lodged without any inquiry into the incident.
"The decision to lodge an FIR against a soldier was totally uncalled for. Due to the stone pelting by the mob, one JCO was injured and eventually evacuated from the spot in a helicopter. The mob pelted huge stones on three to four army vehicles, which were separated," Malik told reporters at a press conference while referring to the incident.
Two civilians were killed when Army personnel fired at a stone-pelting mob in Ganovpora village in Shopian on January 27, prompting the chief minister to order an inquiry into the incident.
The FIR was registered against personnel of 10 Garhwal Rifles, including Major Aditya Kumar, under sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code.
"The mob even tried to snatch a rifle. Only then the Army personnel opened fire in self defence. If you have that right, then I too have that right. But, it is utterly wrong to lodge an FIR (against Army), and showing a soldier, who was not even present at the spot, as an accused is totally wrong," General (retd) Malik said.
"While stone-pelters were let go (by the state government), saying they have not done anything wrong, then why an FIR against a soldier? It was wrong and uncalled for decision," he added.