Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Monday witnessed uproar over the recent killing of two youth in the Army firing in southern Shopian district with the opposition National Conference (NC) demanding the arrest of an Army Major and his unit involved in the incident.
However, the BJP argued that the FIR registered against the Major and his associates should be withdrawn and a fresh one must be filed without mentioning the names of Army personnel.
The Army Major and his personnel have been booked on charges of murder (Section 302), attempt to murder (Section 307) and endangering life (Section 336) in Saturday’s shooting incident.
The PDP-BJP government has also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmed Khan has asked Deputy Commissioner of Shopian to ensure the inquiry is completed with 3 weeks.
BJP legislator RS Pathania questioned the registration of murder case against the Army. The criminal justice system “doesn’t work under pulls and pressures”, he added.
But Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti snubbed her coalition partner and pledged that the investigations into the incident would be taken to their logical conclusion.
“The investigation into the unfortunate Shopian killings would be taken to its logical end. The Army would not be demoralized by registration of single FIR,” she said.
Later she reiterated it in a tweet: “We will take the Shopian probe to its logical conclusion. Justice & peace are two sides of the same coin”.
Two youth Javed Ahmed Bhat (20) and Suhail Javed Lone (24) were killed and nine other civilians injured in the Army firing on a stone-pelting mob in Shopian’s Ganowpora village on Saturday afternoon.
The incident evoked anger throughout the Kashmir Valley where a shutdown was observed on Sunday to mourn and protest the killings.
The Army has said that its men had opened fire “in self-defence” only after a mob tried to lynch a Junior Commissioned Office (JCO) and snatch his service weapon.
It also said that seven soldiers were injured and 11 vehicles damaged in the mob attack.
While speaking in the assembly, the Mufti disclosed that the police had advised the Army to avoid Ganowpora route. According to the police sources, the advisory was issued in view of the tensions set off in the area following the killing of two Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a fire fight with the security forces in a neighbouring village last Wednesday. One of the slain men was a resident of Ganowpora.
Earlier, the NC demanded the arrest of Army personnel involved in the shooting incident.
“The government should arrest all the Army personnel named in the FIR,” NC legislator Ali Muhammad Sagar said.
He added, “I’m hopeful that the Chief Minister will announce the arrest of these personnel.”
However, the Chief Minister during her brief speech in the House criticised the NC and its working president and former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah.
The latter reacted by alleging that Mufti “only knows playing politics over dead bodies”.
Abdullah also said that his party was ready to extend its fullest cooperation and support to the incumbent government to end the cycle of bloodshed and violence in Kashmir.
Earlier, the opposition members from the NC, Congress and CPI (M), supported by PDP legislators from Shopian, Muhammad Yousuf Bhat and Sonawar (Srinagar) Muhammad Ashraf Bhat, were on their feet soon after the House assembled for the day’s business to protest over the Shopian killings.
They moved an adjournment motion to discuss the prevailing law and order situation and raised slogans in support of their demand.
The Speaker asked them to take their seats, assuring that a discussion would be held after the Question Hour, but the opposition did not budge from its demand prompting intervention by the Chief Minister....