Attempt to murder charge against soldiers after Army-police clash at Kupwara police station


New Delhi: Army soldiers and personnel from the Jammu and Kashmir Police clashed inside a police station in Kupwara this week triggering a first information report (FIR) against three Army officers and 13 of their colleagues under grievous charges, including attempt to murder and those under the Arms Act.

The scuffle took place on the intervening night of 28-29 May and involved several soldiers and personnel of the police station including the station house officer (SHO).

According to police sources, a team had gone to raid the house of a man in connection with a narcotics case. When they reached the house for a raid, he turned out to be a Territorial Army (TA) personnel.

Sources added that the matter has been amicably resolved and what happened was a result of differences of opinion at a functional level.

“The raid was being conducted based on intercepts. The man, who later turned out to be from TA was talking to someone in Pakistan with regard to narcotics smuggling,” a police source said.

Having got a whiff that cops were in hot pursuit, the soldier managed to give them the slip and ran straight to his unit and informed his seniors about the developments.

TA officers were upset that the police had not taken them into confidence before proceeding against their colleague. Subsequently, the second-in-command of the 160 Territorial Army (an officer of Lt Col rank) along with the company commander (a Major-rank officer) and about 30 to 40 soldiers descended on the Kupwara police station.

The exact sequence of events at the police station is not known but it involved a heated exchange of words, followed by kicks and blows including with Rifle butt.

The police filed an FIR and named three Lt Col-rank officers and 13 soldiers, accusing them of serious charges, including attempt to murder and those under the Arms Act.

The FIR also gave details of what transpired according to the police. It said Army personnel “unauthorisedly” entered the premises of the Kupwara police station.

“Upon being questioned, they 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,” it said.

The FIR also stated that upon arrival of “senior police officers”, the alleged “personnel and officers of 160 TA brandished their weapons, snatched the mobile phone of injured police personnel and SHO (station house officer) Kupwara and while fleeing, they abducted Ghulam Rasool along with them”.

After the clash, a Brigadier-rank officer went to the police station and handed over the cop who was taken away, sources said, and a detained Army person was also let off.

‘Not the first time’

Sources said this was not the first time the Army, and particularly this TA unit, had had a face-off with cops.

Earlier this year, a similar altercation happened in Karnah after the police intercepted a consignment of heroin.

On the intervening night of 14-15 February 2024, an FIR was registered at the Karnah police station, charging two TA personnel for possession of nearly 1,000 grams of heroin (commercial quantity).

At that time, the source said, the same officer – second-in-command of the 160 TA – had an altercation with Karnah cops over their operation.

This is an updated version of the report

(Edited by Tikli Basu)

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