NEW DELHI Major Aditya Kumar, who was embroiled in a controversy after his unit fired on protesters in South Kashmir’s Shopian in January leading to death of three civilians, is among 20 armed forces personnel who will be honoured with Shaurya Chakra today.
Rifleman Aurangzeb, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir and was killed by militants in Pulwama in June when he was on his way home for Eid, will also be conferred the gallantry award.
The official list of gallantry award winners was released by the defence ministry on the eve of the Independence Day.
The unit led by Major Aditya had opened fire on a group of protesters in Shopian on January 27 following which the Jammu and Kashmir police filed an FIR against the army personnel involved in the incident.
In February, the father of Major Aditya had moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the FIR filed against his son. During hearing of the case, the Centre said the state government cannot lodge an FIR against serving army personnel when the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was in force in the state.
Rifleman Aurangzeb, who belonged to the 44 Rashtriya Rifles, was on way back home on June 14 to celebrate Eid when militants abducted him.
Hours later, his bullet-riddled body was found at Gussu village, about 10 km from Kalampora, in Pulwama district.
SC To Hear Plea Of 300 Army Soldiers Against FIRs In AFSPA Areas
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on August 20 a plea filed by over 300 Army personnel challenging registration of FIRs against them for operations in areas where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is in force.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar considered the submissions of lawyer Aishwarya Bhati that Army personnel are being prosecuted for performing duties in disturbed areas.
The plea said the registration of FIR and prosecution of Army personnel was against the provisions of AFSPA as they grant immunity to them against the prosecution for actions performed during official duties.
The plea said that such prosecutions lower the morale of the military and para-military forces.
Army personnel are being prosecuted for alleged excesses and fake encounters in areas like Manipur.
Some of the prosecutions have been initiated following apex court directions, especially in Manipur.
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