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Shopian firing: Army files counter-FIR, says 'we responded to ultimate provocation'

By Deepika

The Army on Wednesday filed a counter FIR in Shopian firing incident, in which an Army Major has been booked.

File photo of stone pelters

The counter-FIR came even as a third civilian, who was critically injured in the firing, succumbed on the day.

Meanwhile, BJP legislators are demanding the withdrawal of the FIR against the Army and cases lodged against the protesters.

On January 27, two youths were killed when Army personnel fired at a stone-pelting mob+ in the Ganovpora area of Shopian, prompting chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to order an inquiry into the incident.

Police had on Sunday filed an FIR+ under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code against the personnel of 10, Garhwal unit, of the Army. A Major, who led the Army personnel at the time of the incident, was also named in the FIR.

The Army claims it opened fire on the crowd in self-defence and in the face of the "ultimate provocation", after seven of its personnel were injured.

A defence spokesman had said that the troops resorted to firing 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 on Sunday.

The PDP-BJP coalition in J&K is in turmoil after Mufti defended the police action and refused to cave in to the saffron party's demands for immediate withdrawal of the FIR.

Countering this, Mufti said: "If some Army officer has committed a mistake, an FIR has been lodged and it is the duty of the government to take it to a logical conclusion."

OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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