Shopian firing: Army files counter-FIR as one more civilian dies

Jan 31:The Army on Wednesday lodged a counter-FIR in response to the one lodged by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in connection with the deaths of two civilians in firing by Army personnel in Shopian on Saturday, reported. The counter-FIR came even as a third civilian, who was critically injured in the firing, succumbed on the day. BJP legislators are, meanwhile, demanding the withdrawal of the FIR against the Army and cases lodged against the protesters.
The third deceased, identified as Rayees Ahmad, sustained bullet injuries when the Army personnel opened fire at a stone-pelting mob. He was admitted to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences after the incident.
Before this, two civilians - Javaid Ahmad and Suhail Ahmad - were killed in Army firing after stone pelters attacked an administrative convoy of 10 Garhwal Rifles.
The Army has said they opened fire in "self-defence" after seven of its personnel were injured in a mob attack and to prevent the "lynching of a Junior Commissioned Officer and burning of vehicles". The JCO had fallen unconscious following the mob attack, according to the Army.
Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia earlier told. "The army administrative convoy came under intense stone pelting by a group of 100-120… Within no time, the number swelled to 200-250 persons. The crowd surrounded an isolated portion of the convoy consisting of four vehicles. They caused extensive damage to these vehicles and tried to set them on fire. A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) accompanying the convoy was hit on his head and fell unconscious suffering serious injury. The mob tried to lynch the individual and snatch his weapon. The violent crowd further closed in towards the vehicles and attempted to set them on fire."
While the J&K Police lodged FIR of murder (Section 302) against the army personnel of the unit, a magisterial probe, too, has been ordered by the J&K government into the firing incident.
The BJP has demanded the withdrawal of the FIR while Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the investigation into the killings of the civilians would be taken to its logical conclusion. Agencies
Source: Agencies



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