Thursday, May 30, 2024

Srinagar: 3 Lt Cols among 16 Army Men Named In FIR For Barging Into Police Station, Assaulting Cops - Excelsior News

The police have registered a case against three Lieutenant Colonels, + 13 Army personnel. First Information Report (FIR) against army personnel for allegedly barging into a police station, beating up and kidnapping policemen in north Kashmir’s Kupwara on 29 May 2024.

The evidence was also caught on a camera inside the police station. Several Army men were seen entering the police station, dragging and thrashing up policemen, and the video is now viral. The incident took place around 9:40 p.m. at the Kupwara Police Station following a police raid of the house of a local territorial Army man in a case during the day.

“A huge number of armed and uniformed personnel of 160 Territorial Army led by Lieutenant Colonel Ankit Sood, Lieutenant Colonel Rajiv Chauhan, and Lieutenant Colonel Nikhil unauthorizedly entered the premises of the Police Station Kupwara,” the FIR said.

It said the Army men collectively and without any provocation in the form of an unlawful assembly, severely attacked the staff and officers present at Police Station Kupwara with rifle butts, kicks, and sticks.
“Immediately, information was conveyed to the police chain of command upon which additional police came to this police station to rescue the police personnel being attacked. Upon seeing the arrival of the police units and senior police officers, the alleged personnel and officers of 160 Territorial Army led the Lieutenant Colonels brandished their weapons, snatched the mobile phones of the injured police personnel and Station House Officer, Kupwara, Inspector Mohammad Ishaq,” the FIR said.
The Army men, according to the FIR, while fleeing, abducted Head Constable Ghulam Rasool and took him along as they absconded from the spot.
Accordingly, a case under Section 186 (voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of his public functions), 332 (voluntarily causes hurt to a public servant), 307 (attempt to murder), 342 (wrongfully confines any person), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 392 (robbery), 397 (robbery or dacoity, the offender uses any deadly weapon), 365 (kidnapping and abduction) of the Indian Penal Code and 7/25 Arms Act stands registered.
The Jammu & Kashmir Police said an investigation into the case was being carried out by a deputy superintendent of police, Kupwara.

Is it an isolated incident or could it flare up?

It's difficult at this stage to suggest either way that this incident is isolated or will flare up. Here's a breakdown of the situation and potential future scenarios:

Reasons it might be isolated:
Local issue: The reports indicate the clash happened at a police station in Kupwara. It could be due to a specific situation between those involved and not indicative of wider tensions.
Internal investigation: The police filing a case against the army personnel suggests internal mechanisms are functioning to address the issue.

Reasons it might flare up:
Underlying tensions: Jammu and Kashmir is a region with a history of conflict. This incident could reignite tensions between police and army, or between security forces and the public.
Political manipulation: Politicians might use the incident to further their agendas, potentially inflaming sentiments in Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir.

Possible future scenarios:
De-escalation: Authorities handle the situation through investigation and disciplinary action, preventing wider involvement.
Escalation: The incident becomes politicized, leading to protests or unrest in J&K or other areas.

What to look for:
Official statements: How the military and government respond will be a key indicator of the seriousness with which they view the incident.
Media coverage: If the incident receives significant inflammatory coverage, it could heighten tensions.
Local protests: Any protests or unrest in J&K or elsewhere would suggest a wider issue.

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