The Supreme Court will hear on Monday the petition filed by the father of an Army officer of 10 Garhwal Rifles booked in connection with the killing of three civilians in alleged Army firing. The Jammu-Kashmir Police had lodged an FIR under Section 302 (murder charge) against the Army personnel of the unit. The petition filed in the apex court seeks the quashing of the FIR.
Lt Colonel Karamveer Singh, the father of Army officer Major Aditya Kumar, moved the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking the quashing of the FIR against his son. The petitioner claimed that the firing on January 27 was undertaken to control “a savage and violent mob engaged in terrorist activity”, pelting stones at the Army convoy and about to lynch a Junior Commissioned Officer.
Police had said while two protesters were killed on the spot in the firing incident, a third protester succumbed to injuries later.
Lt Colonel Singh said the plea was being filed “for protecting the morale of the soldiers of Indian Army, who are facing all odds in performance of their bonafide duties and laying their lives in the line of duty, to uphold the dignity of the Indian flag”.
The petition further said that the police report, filed at the Shopian police station, was in relation to an Army convoy on military duty in the area under the AFSPA, which provisions for special powers to the armed forces.
The area was “isolated by an unruly and deranged mob who were pelting the said vehicles with stones causing damage to the military vehicles which are the property of the Government of India as well as placing the lives of the military personnel and military property within the vehicles in grave peril”, it said.
The petition added: “The unruly behaviour of the unlawful assembly reached its peak when they got hold of a Junior Commissioned Officer and was in the process of lynching him to death. It was at this moment that warning shots were fired at the unlawful assembly which, as per the said terms of engagement, is the last resort to be taken before opening fire. The unlawful assembly again refused to spare the life of the Junior Commissioned Officer and, therefore, fire was lawfully opened on the unlawful assembly with an aim to disperse the violent mob and protect govt servants and property.”