The Supreme Court of India squashing the FIR against Major Aditya Kumar, an army officer, is a triumph for national security.
This might have been a coincidence, but it was an extremely well-suited one that the apex court on Monday suspended any further probes against Major Aditya Kumar. He had been implicated for murder when he was commanding an Indian Army detachment which fired at a horde of stone-pelters that had encompassed them in Shopian in the Kashmir Valley. The SC judgement came on the day after the security forces eliminated the Jaish-e-Muhammad commander Mufti Waqas. Mufti Waqas was suspected to be the mastermind behind the ghastly and cowardly terrorist attack on the Sunjwan Army Camp, in which five paramilitary soldiers lost their lives in the line of duty.
The Indian Army, which has been fighting insurgency in Kashmir since the early 1990s, has acknowledged that it needs to properly ensure internal security in the national interest. The Army’s activities have unmistakably increased in Jammu and Kashmir since 2015. Furthermore, with the Supreme Court now conveying unambiguously that armed force personnel can’t be dealt in parity with ‘normal criminals’, as the state government allegedly tried to do in the Shopian firing case.
The SC halted the investigation by the Jammu and Kashmir police till April 24, 2018, when it will determine whether the state police was right in registering an FIR against the Indian Army. This, despite knowing completely well that such an operation requires the authorisation under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA). In my opinion, the SC ruling will hold back those legislators who allegedly have a separatist mindset.
In another incident, late night on March 5 in Shopian itself, the Army said that it took out a Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist and three suspected over-ground workers (OGWs) in an operation. But all of this did not stop the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti from grieving over the death of the ‘civilians’ who were killed in cross-fire.
Now, I think that the so-called apologists for Mufti, including the Abdullah family, will attempt to defend her as it’s important to soothe the sentiments of local Kashmiri populace – the reason being the sensitivities associated with it. There should be a limit to this pandering, in my opinion. Unless the valley’s lawmakers find their spine, or are somehow persuaded by the Centre to not play this double game, this pandering will just help in prolonging the conflict and widening the distrust between the Muslim populace in Kashmir and the general population of the rest of India.
After all, we cannot just sit back and ask the Indian Army to suffer causalities, day in and day out, waiting for the elected lawmakers to get their act together, vis-à-vis the issue of Kashmir – and perform their duty in adherence with the Indian Constitution.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.