Forces ‘violated’ SOP

Thorough Investigation Will Lead Us To Conclusion: Police


Srinagar, Jan 2: As the Army is facing severe censure for allegedly opening fire on civilians in Pulwama last week, the incident has brought to spotlight the adherence to, or violation of, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) by the security forces. Police have already filed an FIR against the Army in the incident in which nine civilians were injured.
Though the Army and police maintain that the SOP was maintained, reliable sources in police said that there was violation of the procedure that led to grievous injuries to nine civilians.
According to the SOP, during an encounter Special Operation Group (SOG) of police and Army have to counter the militants while the outer cordon to stop the entry of civilians into the gunfight area has to be controlled by police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). In case any law and order problem erupts, the SOP says it has to be dealt by police and CRPF.
But in Pulwama on Friday, the protests were reportedly dealt by the Army who allegedly resorted to firing, injuring seven civilians.
Police said that at 10 p.m Thursday, they got information that two militants were hiding in the house of a doctor in Bubgam (Chandgam) in Pulwama. A police party of SOG Srinagar, SOG Pulwama and 55 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) established cordon of the area at 2.30 a.m Friday morning and the exchange of fire started at 5.55 a.m.
The encounter was supervised by Deputy Inspector of General (DIG) of Police South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, Commander 12 Sector RR, Brigadier Rajiv Nanda, SP Pulwama Amit Kumar and CO 55 RR SP Yadaw.
During the gunfight at 8.35 a.m Major Tanmay Rath of 55 RR received bullets in his arm. He was evacuated in a Gypsy and was guarded by two soldiers. Around eight soldiers boarded a Tata Sumo and escorted the Gypsy carrying Major Rath.
“No officer was commanding the troop column carrying the injured officer,” a senior police officer supervising the investigations into the incident told Greater Kashmir on the basis of anonymity.
The senior police officer said, “Any roadblock has to be opened by the escort team. In case of any disturbance, the escort team can open fire in air after proper permission from immediate accompanying officer.”
Locals accused the Army escort of resorting to firing at Pulwama Chowk, injuring two more civilians.
The police officer said that 17 bullets have been fired ‘to clear the road for evacuation of injured Army officer.’
However, the police and Army maintain that the SOP was adhered to.
“The SOP was maintained during the operation,” said a spokesman of 15 Corps.
“I was there and SOP was maintained,” said DIG South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar. Kumar said thorough investigation into the incident will lead us to conclusion. “We have registered FIR and are investigating. Witnesses are also deposing before the Magistrate carrying out the inquiry,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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