It was controlled fire, the Army said while reacting to the FIR lodged against its Major. There has been raging debate over whether the Jammu and Kashmir government should have filed an FIR against the Major and his battalion following the death of 2 stone pelters at Shopian last Saturday.
The soldiers were provoked to the ultimate. A junior commissioned officer was almost killed. The stone pelters had hit him on the head and were planning on taking him away with the intention of burning him alive, an internal probe by the Indian Army has shown.
The Army was in a desperate situation and they were tackling 200 stone pelters. The unit under the Major followed every SoP and tried to pacify the mob, but the stone pelters were relentless.
A preliminary inquiry conducted by the Army based on the narration of the events suggests that the incident was not a knee jerk reaction. The stone pelters had come there with a specific intention of causing mayhem. The very fact that two of the stone pelters tried to lynch a junior commissioned officer is fact that this was a pre-planned move.
The other fact that the inquiry had found is that the Major was not present at the scene where the shooting happened. There were in all 30 trucks and the Major was away in one of them.
His men however tried to talk peace with the stone pelters for a long time, but it failed. It was during this time that two persons tried to attack the soldiers following which the shooting took place out of desperation, sources said. They in fact injured a soldier and were set to burn him when the Army had to retaliate. In all there were 10 soldiers who were trapped amidst the stone pelters who had a clear plan of provoking.
Moreover the Army only found that the crowd was only increasing. Warning shots were fired several times and thus a proper standard operating procedure was followed.