Srinagar: The Army on Wednesday filed a counter-FIR in the Shopian firing case after its personnel, including a Major, were charged with murder by the police on the directions of the Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Army had opened fire on a stone-pelting mob in the south Kashmir district on January 27. The army said in its FIR that its soldiers were forced to open fire in self defence and in the face of "ultimate provocation" after seven of its personnel were injured.
Two youths were killed in the firing, while another succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday. Eight more civilians were injured in the incident.
Responding to public anger in Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had announced that the police would register a case against the army soldiers involved in the firing. Despite pressure from coalition partner BJP to withdraw the case, she had said it would be taken to its logical conclusion.
Police filed an FIR under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) against the personnel of 10, Garhwal unit, of the Army. J-K Police chief S P Vaid said on Monday that registration of the FIR in the Shopian incident is just the beginning of the investigation and the Army's version would be taken into account as well.
Northern Army commander Lt General Devraj Anbu said that he is confident the truth will come out. He also said that it was premature to put the name of army officers in the FIR before a preliminary enquiry.
A defence spokesman said in Srinagar that the troops opened fire when a mob tried to lynch a junior commissioned officer and snatch his service weapon.
"An Army administration convoy was passing through Ganovpora when it came under unprovoked and intense stone-pelting by a group of 100-120 stone-pelters. Within no time, their number swelled to 200-250 persons," the spokesperson said.
"The crowd surrounded an isolated portion of the convoy consisting of four vehicles," he said, noting that the stone- pelters caused extensive damage to these vehicles and tried to set them on fire.