Even if all the lawyers and Judges of the Supreme Court, all the lawyers and Judges of all the High Courts and all the lawyers and Judges of all the District Courts were to stand on one side and say that soldiers have no legal right to retaliate and kill stone pelters, I would humbly beg to differ with all of them! Soldiers have every legal right to act in self defence. There can be no denying or disputing it!
No law can be above the nation! India exists because of our soldiers and not because of politicians! It is soldiers who protect our nation and not politicians! So why should soldiers not be protected from being targeted by stone pelters who think they have birth right to pelt stones and then there is Centre led by Modi and State led by Mehbooba to withdraw cases against them?
Politicians only know how to divide India just like they divided us in 1947! This alone explains why Justice Markandey Katju calls politicians as rogues and scoundrels! Justice Katju rightly points out that a father named Jawaharlal Nehru created one fake country called Pakistan and the daughter created another fake country called Bangladesh. He predicts that they both were part of India and shall merge with India in the coming years after 15 or 20 years as they are failed states!
What do our human rights activists expect? Do they expect that soldiers keep on braving stone pelting every now and then without ever retaliating? Do they expect that soldiers keep their head down even as stone pelters slap them and their helmet falls in dustbin as we saw in all news channels last year and yet the soldier did not retaliate?
How long will soldiers keep quiet in Jammu and Kashmir? What message is Centre sending? What message is Jammu and Kashmir State Government led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Sayyid sending?
Why has an FIR been lodged against a serving Army Officer Lieutenant Colonel Aditya Kumar even though he had no hand in firing and killing stone pelters? Why Centre allowed this to happen at the first place? Why FIR not lodged against those stone pelters who without any reason attacked an Army convoy and had attempted to kill a JCO before the troops opened fire? Are those stone pelters above the law of the land?
What message is Centre and State Government sending? Why Centre has allowed State Government of Mehbooba to bulldoze her way? Why has Centre disregarded our brave soldiers? Should we be proud of it?
Why has Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh allowed lodging of FIR against Lt Col Aditya Kumar and others even though they are protected by AFSPA? Why was it ignored that they acted in self-defence as stone pelters wanted to kill them without any grave and sudden provocation? Why no FIR allowed to be lodged against stone pelters?
Why has Centre allowed this to happen at the first instance? What message is Centre sending? Why is Centre discouraging youth from joining Army by encouraging stone pelters by not lodging FIR against them and by promptly lodging FIR against soldiers who acted in self defence?
Why has Centre allowed withdrawal of FIR and cases against 10,000 stone pelters? Will this not encourage stone pelting industry in Jammu and Kashmir funded fully from Pakistan? Why Rohingyas allowed to illegally settle in Jammu and Kashmir? Why Rohingyas are allowed to become part of stone pelting industry and still be given Indian citizenship?
Why the father of Maj Aditya was compelled to approach Supreme Court for quashing the FIR lodged wrongly against his son? Why Centre and State failed to reprimand the police for lodging FIR against him and other soldiers who were attacked by stone pelters? Why Centre and States allowed the lodging of FIR at the first place?
What message is Centre and State of Jammu and Kashmir sending? That they stand firmly and fully with stone pelters against whom no case is lodged and stand for ensuring that Major Aditya and other soldiers are sent behind bars for the rest of their lives or are hanged? Which true Indian will ever like this and appreciate them for this anti-national act?
The whole nation is watching how Pakistan is again and again killing our soldiers with anti tank missiles and how terrorists are attacking Army camps and Centre and State strongly demanding that stone pelters be dealt with leniently as they are our own people and how interlocutors are being sent to hold talks with separatists and anti-India lobby! Such suicidal move Centre can ill afford considering the stark truth that next year in 2019 the country will face general elections! Who can save Centre from facing electoral defeat at the hustings if it fails to rectify its approach?
The soldiers who fired at stone pelters and killed 3 of them had to fire in self defence as the stone pelters without any grave and sudden provocation started attacking Army vehicles! What can soldiers do under such dire circumstances? Should they offer flower or fruit to such stone pelters who are mad in anger wanting to kill each and every soldier knowing fully well that Centre and State stands fully with them and not with soldiers who dare not respond to their attack?
All in all, soldiers have every legal right of private defence just like any other individual! In addition, soldiers are protected by AFSPA which stone pelters fail to appreciate and they think that they will keep on attacking Indian soldiers who won’t respond for fear of FIR being lodged against them! This approach is nothing but bunkum!
Soldiers have every legal right to kill those who pelt stones at them because no ordinary person will ever throw stone at soldiers! With what face stone pelters talk about human rights and legal rights when they don’t care about the basic legal rights of our soldiers of not to be attacked without provocation? Also, soldiers have every legal right to defend their fellow soldiers from being targeted and burnt in the manner in which Mohammad Ayub was burnt and beaten to death in 2017 after breaking all his bones! While doing so, if the soldiers fire at stone pelters then the stone pelters are themselves responsible for it as also are those responsible who encourage them by withdrawing cases and paying them for indulging in it most lavishly!
Even soldiers have legal rights and not just stone pelters! India is standing as one nation since 1947 because of soldiers and not because of unruly stone pelters! It is because of the supreme sacrifice rendered by soldiers at very young age of just 20 or 21 or 22 or little more that we all are safe from terrorists and Pakistani invaders who want to destroy our nation completely!
How can we ignore this? How can our politicians ignore this? How can State ignore this? How can politicians ignore this? So soldiers must be defended and in this case Centre has utterly failed to do anything to protect the legal right of soldiers and has mollycoddled in front of Mehbooba who has withdrawn more than 10,000 cases against stone pelters and has ensured that no case is lodged against stone pelters who pelted stones at soldiers!
Lt Col Karamveer approaching the Supreme Court for quashing of the FIR lodged against his son is a national disgrace and Centre is squarely responsible for it by not doing anything to prevent this from happening! What message is Centre trying to send? Whom is it trying to appease?
Why is it not according top priority to our soldiers who always guard our borders and who even help our stone pelters when they are in crisis like floods etc? Soldiers have fired in self defence as well as defence of fellow soldiers and have exercised maximum restraint by killing only 2 or 3 of the stone pelters and not 200 or 300 of them! How can all this be ignored?
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.