Shopian firing: Army says troops acted in self defence

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Shopian firing: Army says troops acted in self defence

The murder charges have been slapped on the Indian army by the Jammu and Kashmir administration that has come under enormous fire for not being able to stop civilian casualties in encounters between the security forces and insurgent groups seeking freedom of Kashmir from India.

While two civilians were killed on Saturday in the firing by army personnel on a group of protesters, one of the nine injured died at SKIMS Soura hospital on Wednesday morning.

Today the Army filed countered the FIR that lodged by Jammu and Kashmir police over the killing of two Shopian district civilians.

The police had filed an FIR under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) against army personnel, including a major, involved in the incident.

However, CM Mehbooba Mufti, of the PDP, asserted that FIR filed against the Army would be taken to its "logical conclusion"+". In case, it is required the persons named in the FIR are to be questioned, the Army will give the necessary permission, they said.

Sources said that the Army has stated that it was a planned attack on its convoy, and that before opening fire the soldiers had given several verbal warnings to the villagers who were throwing stones on their vehicles. He also emphasized that the army "responds only when provoked" and that the action by the army was to protect the government property. "FIR is the same and investigation is underway", Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar, Superintendent of Police, Shopian, told DNA. In the coming days, the investigation will prove this. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has ordered an inquiry into the incident; she also spoke to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who said that she would seek a detailed report on the incident.

Earlier on Sunday, in a "counter-FIR", the Army detailed how four of its vehicle, detached from the other 16 in the administrative convoy, were surrounded and attacked by the angry mob. "I am sure when they investigate, the truth will come out".

The officer said filing of an FIR was only the first step and hoped his men would be cleared in the probe.

The army according to eyewitnesses retaliated with firing.

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