The Indian Army has offered a response over the matter of Major Aditya of the 10 Garhwal Rifles having a murder and attempt to murder case being filed against him following the events in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian on Jan 27 in which 2 civilians were killed in retaliatory firing after a convoy had come under attack from stone-pelters.
Speaking to mediapersons, Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu, General Officer Commander-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command of the Indian Army, when asked about the matter, said:
"I feel it's just the initial step they've done; they've just lodged an FIR. The investigation is yet to commence. I think probably everything will come out-pan out in the investigation. Notwithstanding what the state government has done, we have done our own inquiry. And we're very clear that we have responded when we were provoked to the ultimate. It is in self-defence and protection of the property of the government that has been invested on us. I don't find anything to really fear and in the coming days, the investigation that will prove for itself. We have nothing much to worry on this."
When asked about the fact that Major Aditya wasn't even present at the spot, Lt Gen Anbu said:
"Yes, that is an unfortunate thing. Probably in such a situation, a generic FIR should have been filed to come to a conclusion as to what exactly happened. I think they have prematurely put the name of an individual which I'm sure when they investigate, the truth will come out."
When asked if there was any impact on troop morale, he said:
"Absolutely not. We're very clear. We're a professional Army. We go out and do our duty. And our conviction is completely correct."
As per Republic TV sources, what happened on that day was that the that 10 Garhwal Rifles was being replaced by another unit. They were supposed to move to Balapora using one of two routes. In one route, there was stone pelting in the morning and hence the 20-vehicle-convoy, including three QRT, decided to take the Ganapura road. At one point in the route, the vehicles were to take a right turn. However, three vehicles missed the turn and went ahead by about 100 metres. They then reversed leading to a decrease in speed, at which point the stone-pelting started. A JCO got off the vehicle to assess the situation but got hit in the head and collapsed. The crowd then became more belligerent causing the army personnel to fire a shot in the air. The crowd still did not go back and continued pelting stones. When the pelters came too close is when the Army opened fire.