Following the uproar over the FIR lodged by J&K police against Army for civilian killings in January, police have registered the FIR in connection with the killing of four civilians and two militants in a shootout on Sunday on the basis of submissions made by the Army. Police say they will add the version of the other side during the investigation.
In its written submission to police in Shopian that was made the basis for FIR, the Army stated that “probably” three over ground workers were killed in the shootout.
“On 4th March 2018, the army was in process of establishing an MVCP near Pahnoo school in the evening, when a red Santro and silver Swift VDZ cars approached the MVCP and tried to jump the MVCP (sic),” the FIR quotes the written application written by Major Praveen Menon on behalf of the Commanding Officer of 14 Rashtriya Rifles.
“The troops of the MVCP challenged the occupants of the cars but they didn’t stop and open fired from inside the car on the troops of the MVCP, with the intent to kill them and in the exchange of fire between the army troops and the occupants of the car, one militant was killed probably three (OGWs) Over Ground Workers were killed and one weapon was recovered (sic)”.
Based on this application, police have registered an FIR (No 54/2018) under section 307 of Ranbir Penal Code (attempt to murder) and 7/27 of Indian Arms Act.
On the basis of the written report and oral statement by the applicant, it prima facie warrants a case under section 307 RPC and 7/27 Indian Arms Act,” reads the FIR registered at 8.43 pm Sunday.
The FIR, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, says that on questioning, the applicant “seconded” the contents of his written application and added that the incident happened at 8 pm.
In January this year, J&K police registered a case against Army in connection with the killing of three civilians at Ganawpora village in Shopian. The case has caused an uproar and the Supreme Court stayed the process after the father of an Army officer named in the FIR approached it.
The Army submission mentions a red Santro car and a silver Swift car. Three of the slain civilians — Suhail Khali Wagay, Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay and Shahid Khan — were in the Swift car that has been seized, but there is no mention of the blue WagonR in which another civilian Gowhar Ahmad Lone was. Gowhar’s body was found inside the car Monday morning, a few hundred meters from where the other three civilians were killed. Another militant’s body was also found in an orchard several kilometres away.
It is not clear whether police have added in the FIR the version of villagers, who have accused army of killing the civilians in “cold blood”.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, south Kashmir, Amit Kumar told The Indian Express that the FIR has been registered on the basis of the Army submission. “We have started an investigation, but nobody from among the villagers has turned up as of now. We are waiting for the Chahrum to end. Maybe then they would turn up”.