The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP on Monday termed the lodging of an FIR against Army personnel over the killing of two youth, allegedly in firing by jawans, in Shopian as "unfortunate and disgusting" asserting that nothing should be done that demoralises the forces.
The issue was also raised in the state Assembly by a BJP MLA who demanded the FIR be withdrawn as a magisterial probe was already ordered in the incident.
The J&K Police had registered an FIR under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code against personnel of the 10, Garhwal unit of the Army over the deaths of two youths, allegedly in Army firing, in Shopian last week.
State BJP spokesperson Virender Gupta in a statement termed as "unfortunate and disgusting", the lodging of the FIR against a major and other personnel on the charge of murder and attempt to murder by the state government when no FIR was lodged or enquiry ordered against the stone pelters.
"Nothing should be done that demoralises the forces who are fighting the Pakistan sponsored terrorism in the valley against many odds to restore peace and normalcy in state and save the integrity of the nation," Gupta said.
He said Indian army was considered one of the most disciplined forces in the world and has played a unique role across the globe on the UN call.
The circumstances that were created by the stone pelters in Shopian, subjecting Army convoy to heavy pelting, hurting a JCO and others and damaging vehicles, left no other option for the personnel but to resort to firing in self defence, the BJP leader said.
He asked what business the so-called "innocent" mob had to attack the Army convoy with stones.
"The forces are facing great resistance whenever they cordon an area in search of terrorists. The people of the area come out in a mob and attack the forces with stones and make their work extremely difficult," he said.
Gupta rued that none of the Kashmiri leaders appealed against the obstruction of security operations to save the valley from destruction, he said.
He said when the forces retaliate, then these leaders make a hue and cry and come in the defence of the mob.
If the political class of the valley is so much against the forces then morality demands they shed away the security availed by them, the BJP spokesperson said.
A BJP legislator also demanded the withdrawal of the FIR saying a magisterial probe was already ordered.
"The FIR registered against the Army personnel should be withdrawn. A magisterial probe has already been ordered into the incident and the law should take its course," BJP MLA R S Pathania said in the state Assembly.
He said it was a sensitive issue and the BJP's point of view was that loss of human life was condemnable.
"There is a consensus on the magisterial probe and criminal action should be taken against the guilty. But naming the Army personnel in the FIR (without completion of the inquiry) and levelling serious offences should not have been done," he said.
Questioning the claim that Army resorted to unprovoked firing, he said several personnel were injured besides a number of vehicles were also damaged in the stone-pelting by the mob.
The BJP leader also questioned the opposition's "silence" on his party's demand for adopting a resolution condemning Pakistan's recent unprovoked and indiscriminate shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) which left 14 persons including seven civilians dead and over 70 others injured.
The remark triggered a heated exchange between opposition and BJP members as the former accused the saffron party of playing politics on the issue.
"It was the opposition which raised the border shelling issue on the floor of the house and forced the parliamentary affairs minister (A R Veeri) to give a statement," National Conference MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar countered.
On the Shopian incident, Pathania attacked the opposition for setting a 15-day timeline for the completion of the magisterial inquiry and said the party would have appreciated if the members had called for an impartial probe.
He lauded Sagar for his remark that restoration of peace should be the priority of all the members. Invoking former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee's 'Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and jamhooriyat' comment, he said it was like a commandment for the party.