Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehooba Mufti on Friday said that no counter FIR has been filed by the Army in connection with the death of civilians in a retaliatory firing by an Army patrol party when it was attacked with stones in Shopian on January 27.
The clarification followed a statement by former chief minister Omar Abdullah in the assembly in which he said that since the Army had filed a counter FIR, the state government should constitute a high-level Special Investigation Team to probe the incident.
he PDP leader also reportedly heaped praise on armed forces but also urged them to be extra vigilant while dealing with innocent people.
Referring to the reports of a counter FIR by the army in Shopian incident, Mufti said that it is the intact version of the troops to its firing in which three civilians have been killed.
”It is part of the FIR registered against the army on the first day,” she said, adding that “we have to listen to both the sides before taking any action”.
Mehbooba Mufti further said that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) could not be revoked given the present security situation in the state.
“There was a time when people would desert villages whenever there was an anti-militancy operation in the area. The bitter truth is that today people from adjacent villages come to throw stones at the security forces during such an operation,” she said in the assembly.
It is to be noted that the PDP-BJP government led by Mufti has come under severe attack from Congress and other opposition parties for filing an FIR against Army, which they said operated as per the Standard Operating Procedure.
Attacking the Mehbooba Mufti government, the opposition parties said that registering an FIR against Army personnel would deal a major blow to the armed forces’ morale.
Meanwhile, the authorities today imposed restrictions in Srinagar and Shopian districts to prevent a separatist-backed march in protest against the killing of five civilians in the past few days.
Police said restrictions under section 144 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been imposed in Rainawari, Nowhatta, M.R.Gunj, Safakadal, Khanyar, Maisuma and Kralkhud in Srinagar.
The District Magistrate also imposed restrictions in the Shopian town to maintain law and order.
Separatist conglomerate, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) headed by Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik, had called for the protest march to Shopian to express solidarity with the people there.
The march was called after five persons were allegedly killed in the Shopian district in violent incidents.
Three civilians were killed in firing by Army patrol party in Ganowpora village in Shopian on January 27, when a stone-pelting mob attacked an army convoy in the village.
A 10-year-old boy died in a hospital on Thursday after he was injured in an explosion on January 25 when a debris clearing operation was in progress in the Shaigam village.
While another civilian was killed on January 24, in a gunfight between security forces and militants in Shaigam village.
Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were deployed in large numbers to maintain law and order in sensitive areas in the old city area.
Security forces have also been deployed in strength in south Kashmir`s Shopian town.