In what may be construed as differences between the ruling PDP and BJP coalition government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday demanded the withdrawal of FIR registered against army men including a Major in connection with the killing of two civilians in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Pointing out that it has been his and his party’s considered stand that loss of a human life for whatsoever reason and in whatsoever manner is condemnable, BJP MLA from Ramnagar RS Pathania said that there shall be a magisterial enquiry and criminal action into the matter. There shall be consensus over it, he said while participating in a discussion in the Legislative Assembly over the issue of Shopian killings.
“Yeh bat mujey samajh nahi aati ki kya aap pehley hi din fansi par chada dogey (I don’t get this part that how can you lay the blame on a person on the very first day),” he asked, while taking a strong objection to an opposition member’s statement that army resorted to unprovoked firing.
He further said if Army personnel had resorted to unprovoked firing, then they should be repressed and that Government should take a stern note of it. “Lekin pehley hi din FIR itney serious offences ke liye ? (But an FIR against army men for such serious offences on the very first day), he asked, appreciating state government’s courage and commitment to allow discussion in the house on the issue.
“Jo pichley dino mein hua woh law and order issue hai aur usmey vote bank ki politics nahin honi chahiye.(Whatsoever happened in the past few days is a law and order issue and there shall be no politics in it),” he said, adding that the matter shall be taken to its logical conclusion.
“Humara yeh stand hai ki by name itney serious offences ka FIR lagana galat hai. Is par enquiry hona chahiye (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),” he said, adding that action shall be taken if they are found guilty. “Lekin ek raat mein, ek gantey mein ya do gantey mein koi criminal investigation nahin hoti (No criminal investigation can be completed overnight or in one or two hours),” Pathania said referring to members demand for a time-bound probe.
Defending her government’s decision to register an FIR against the personnel involved in the incident, CM Mehbooba Mufti said she did not believe the action would have a demoralising effect on the force. Describing the incident as a “setback” to the political process, she said she had spoken about it to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who asked her to take the required action in case there was “carelessness”.
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 army troops foiled all its attempts to push militants into the state, he said that whatsoever army did was need of the hour otherwise hundreds of innocent lives would have been lost.
Two youths, Javed Ahmad Bhat and Suhail Ahmad were killed in firing by Army in Shopian on Saturday. The state government ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, while police registered an FIR naming some Armymen including a Major.
With PTI inputs