Shopian Civilian Murders case: Major Aditiya has not been named in the FIR, JK govt tells SC

New Delhi: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday told the Indian Supreme Court that Major Aditiya has not been named in the FIR registered against the Army in the Shopian civilian murder case.

The top court of the country was informed when it was listening to the plea of Lt Col (retd) Karamveer Singh, father of Major Aditiya.  The J&K government submitted in a status report to the court that the Army officer had not been named when the police lodged an FIR to investigate the firing incident, rendering the cause for Singh’s petition moot.

A three-judge bench stayed the investigation into the Shopian firing, and by extension Major Aditya’s role or lack thereof in it, till the next date of hearing on April 24.

“Major Aditya is an army officer and cannot be treated like ordinary criminals by the J&K police,” the SC said.

ALSO READ: Shopian Civilian Murders: Continuous deaths and endless mourning

Though J&K government told SC that the FIR does not name Major Aditya as an accused, the bench said because his name is mentioned in the narrative of the FIR, he could be roped in at any time.

Last month, the top court had said that the Mehbooba Mufti-coalition in JK cannot take “coercive steps” against Army officers, including Major Aditya Kumar, accused in the case.

In its report, the Mufti government complained that the Army does not respond to its letters and asked “Are they above the law?” and “Whether Army has a license to kill?”.

ALSO READ: The Slain Shopian Siblings: Even death didn’t do them part  

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, had asked Lt Col Singh’s counsel to share the copies of his petition with the office of attorney general K K Venugopal and the J&K government.

Last month three civilian were murdered by the Army after a crowd threw stones at them. They had come to remove ‘black banners’ which the people didn’t allow.

The army according to eyewitnesses retaliated with firing. Witnesses added that army fired upon youth directly resulting in the injuries of at least 11 persons.

The Army however said that they fired in ‘self defence’ after they were provoked to the ‘ultimate’ by a stone throwing crowd.

The BJP, coalition partner of the ruling PDP had demanded that the FIR against the Army should  withdrawn and a new one lodged without naming anyone. However, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that the investigation would be taken to its ‘logical end.’

A BJP leader Subramanian Swamy  threatened Mehbooba Mufti to withdraw the FIR against the army otherwise her government would be toppled.

“What’s this nonsense? Dismiss that government. Tell Mehbooba (Mufti) to withdraw the FIR else her government would be toppled,” Swamy told ANI.

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