Shopian killings: Responded to ‘ultimate provocation’, says Army
Srinagar, Jan 31: General Officer Commander-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Northern Command, Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu, on Wednesday said the army opened fire on Shopian residents in “self-defence” when “provoked to the ultimate”. Terming the lodging of FIR by police as “unfortunate” and “premature”, Anbu said, “Notwithstanding what the state government has done, the army has its own inquiry which says that the forces only responded when they were provoked to the ultimate.” “The Court of Inquiry will not be set up against Major Aditya, as he did not violate the Standard Operating Procedure. The state administration has already constituted a probe team; they will file the report in 20 days,” Anbu, as per news gathering agency ANI, said in Pune. “It was in self-defence and protection of the property of the government. And in coming days, the investigation will prove for itself.” The death toll due to Shopian firing rose to three, as another victim Riyaz Ahmad Ganie, who was shot by the army on his head, succumbed to injuries at SKIMS Srinagar. A day after the firing incident, the police had filed an FIR for murder and attempt to murder against the army unit while also naming the Major in it. With army clearly refuting to take any action against its soldiers, not much is being hoped from the probe ordered by the government. District Commissioner (DC) Shopian, Aijaz Asad, who was appointed as the inquiry officer, told The Kashmir Monitor that he has come to Delhi and was “busy” enough to give any comments on the issue. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan, too, couldn’t be contacted for comments. In his statement, Anbu said that militancy in Kashmir has “stabilised to a large extent”. “From ground commanders to the top, we are very clear. We are a professional army and we go out to do our duty,” Anbu said. “The kinetic part of it, whether stopping the infiltration or dealing with the terrorists who have infiltrated, has been done in a firm manner,” Anbu added. Anbu said that from 213 militants that were killed in 2017, “large numbers of them are the leadership, who have come from across the border”. “And because the back has been broken by neutralising the leadership, I feel that the time is ripe that normalcy is brought it and mainly the youth are engaged. There is also a role of political initiative in this case,” he said. As per Anbu, that India’s position at Line of Control is also “very strong”. “Whenever there is some act from the other side, we effectively engage and respond in a professional manner. We ensure that our aim is achieved which is not letting any infiltrators come in and preventing any Pakistani misadventure,” Anbu said.