SRINAGAR: Terming Army Major Gogoi’s tying up of a Kashmir man in front of their vehicle as a human shield in central Kashmir’s Budgam district last month as “very prudent”, the J&K BJP, which is running coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir with PDP, has said FIR against the army officer can be quashed by the court.
Meanwhile, on the call of separatists, people staged protests in Valley and clashed with security personnel to protest award to Major Gogoi.
“As a political party, we cannot comment upon what should happen with FIR registered against Major Gogoi by J&K police,” State BJP chief spokesman Sunil Sethi told New Indian Express.
After outrage over tying of a Kashmir man Farooq Ahmad Dar in front of an army vehicle as human shield against stone pelters in Beerwah village of central Kashmir’s Budgam district during bypolls to Srinagar parliamentary seat on April 9, J&K police had registered an FIR against the army officer Major Gogoi.
Gogoi was recently awarded by army chief for his contribution to counter-insurgency operations in J&K and has been reportedly cleared of all charges by Court of Inquiry (CoI) ordered by army into the human shield incident.
However, police has not quashed FIR against Gogoi.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir Munir Khan told reporters that FIR against Major Gogoi has not been quashed and police investigation is going on.
The BJP chief spokesman said if an FIR has been filed, the person has to go for its quashing.
He said the FIR can be quashed by the court.
“If the court finds there is no offence, it can quash the FIR,” Sethi said.
He, however, said quashing of FIR can’t take place by the govt.
“The government cannot quash the FIR. After FIR is registered, there is way of quashing and closing it. The FIR can be quashed by the court and closing can only take place after investigation is completed,” said the BJP chief spokesman.
Defending Major Gogoi, he said they don’t find any reason for their being an offence.
“We find that the person has acted in a prudent way. It was the only prudent way he could have acted given the circumstances. It was a military problem and taken care of by the army officer,” he said.
According to Sethi, if Major Gogoi would have done anything else it would have led to killings of people.
“If he had ordered firing, civilians would have been killed and had he not taken this decision, security personnel would have been killed. It was a better solution and he could save the lives of people on both sides. We don’t see anything wrong in it or anything political in it,” he said.
On honouring of Major Gogoi, Sethi said, “It is an internal issue of Army. If army has honoured him, it is their internal issue. It has nothing to do with the government. Army has its own system.”
On PDP disapproving of Major Gogoi’s action, he said, “This is not an issue of governance. This is issue of perception. The two parties don’t have any common perception. We have common issue of agenda of governance.
“Let them have their own viewpoint but without imposing it on us,” Sethi said.
The BJP chief spokesman accused opposition parties of politicking on the issue.
“Parties are only politicking on the issue. It should be underplayed instead of being overplayed,” he said.
According to him, once something is done in the national interest and for national security, it should not be politicized. “We have to draw a line that beyond that line there would be no political statement. The line has to be national interest”.
Meanwhile, youth staged protests in downtown Srinagar and some other parts of Valley after Friday prayers to protest honouring of Major Gogoi.
The protestors clashed with security personnel, who fired tear smoke shells to disperse them.
Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for protests against awarding of Chief of Army Staff's Commendation Card to Major Gogoi.