Shopian firing case in Jammu and Kashmir in January is like a stain on Indian Army. As Major Aditya Kumar was simply performing his duty. Three civilians were killed when Army personnel in this convoy fired at a mob that was throwing stones at them in Ganovpora village in Shopian. The Army had stressed that the army personnel fired when they were “provoked to the ultimate”.
Major Aditya’s father Lt Colonel Karamveer Singh, who is a Kargil war veteran, had rightly pointed out that his son was not even present at the spot during the firing. He argued in his petition that an FIR against serving army personnel had a “numbing effect” on the morale of soldiers operating against all odds in “inhospitable terrain” to “uphold the dignity of the Indian flag”.
However, during Tuesday’s hearing, the central government also underlined that the state police could not have registered a case against Major Aditya Kumar without the centre’s permission since the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, or AFSPA was in force in the state.
When the Court inquired the Jammu and Kashmir government that whether the case implied Major Aditya Kumar would not be named as an accused, the State government said that it could not commit either way. As “It depends on Investigation.”
It’s true that the investigation has still not concluded and so it’s too early to accuse Major Aditya in the Shopian firing case. And thus rightly, a bench chaired by Chief Justice Dipak Misra ordered the state government to put the investigation on hold till April 24 when it would deliver its ruling in this case.
Supreme Court’s interim judgement on the Shopian firing case needs to be saluted.