Shopian killings: Mehbooba stands firm on FIR against army men

30 January 2018

In what is being seen as a snub to her alliance partner the Bharatiya Janata Party, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that the investigation into Shopian civilian killings on Saturday would be taken to its logical conclusion.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Mehbooba of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) said the First Information Report lodged into the ''unfortunate'' killings would be taken to its logical end.

''The Army would not be demoralised by registration of single FIR. There can be black sheep in the Army also,'' she told the House.

The BJP had demanded the withdrawal of the FIR registered against Army men including a Major in connection with the killing of two civilians in South Kashmir's Shopian district.

BJP MLA from Ramnagar RS Pathania said, ''Our stand is that it is wrong to register an FIR in the name of some individuals for such serious offences. First there should be an enquiry into the matter.''

Mehbooba also disclosed that police had advised the army to avoid Gawanpora route where the killings took place.

Two youth Javed Ahmad Bhat and Suhail Javed Lone were shot dead by some soldiers in Ganowpora village of Shopian on Saturday. The Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. Police has filed a murder case against the Army.

Earlier, BJP had demanded that the FIR lodged against the army in the case be withdrawn.

''The government should withdraw the FIR against the Army personnel and lodge a fresh FIR without naming anybody,'' Pathania said in the Assembly.

Significantly, the BJP demand in the Legislative Assembly came a day after its MLA from Nowshera, Ravinder Raina, justified firing by Army troops on civilians in Shopian. Attributing the stone pelting in Shopian to a conspiracy by Pakistan after the Army foiled all its attempts to push militants into the state, he said that whatever Army did was the need of the hour otherwise hundreds of innocent lives would have been lost.

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