In what seems to be another victory for the Indian Army after the encounter of Mufti Waqas, the Jammu and Kashmir government told the Supreme Court yesterday that Major Aditya Kumar was not named in the FIR lodged on January 27 pertaining to the Shopian firing incident, where three civilians died. The apex court on India, taking note of this statement by the state government, declared that further investigation pertaining to this case case must be made only after April 24.
Acting on the plea of Lieutenant Colonel Karamveer Singh, the father of Major Aditya Kumar, seeking to quash the FIR against his son, a Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Deepak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud adjudged:
Let the matter be listed for final disposal on April 24. In the meantime, there shall be no investigation on the basis of FIR till then.
It may be recalled here that the Supreme Court had debarred the Jammu and Kashmir police from taking any “coercive step” against any Indian Army officer, including Major Aditya Kumar, who was reportedly named in the case.
Three civilians had lost their lives when Indian Army personnel started open-firing at a stone-pelting mob at Shopian’s Ganovpora village on January 27. This incident prompted Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to launch an investigation.
As a result of this investigation, an FIR was registered against personnel of 10 Garhwal Rifles under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code (the penal code applicable in Jammu and Kashmir). As per reports, Major Aditya was one of the accused in the case.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Karamveer Singh said in his petition that his son was “wrongly and arbitrarily” named in the FIR for the incident relates to an Army convoy that was on bona fide military duty in an area under AFSPA. Furthermore, the convoy was isolated by an “unruly and deranged” mob pelting stones, causing damage to military vehicles.