Army, Police Clash in Kashmir: 3 Lt Colonels Among 16 Booked

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A group of armed and uniformed personnel from the 160 Territorial Army, accompanied by senior Indian Army officials, had stormed the police station, as seen in a video

SRINAGAR — A case of attempt to murder and dacoity has been registered against three army lieutenant colonels and 13 others for their alleged involvement in a violent attack on the Kupwara police station, according to the FIR.

The incident on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday is said to have been triggered by the questioning of a Territorial Army jawan by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in connection with an alleged drug case, The Tribune reported.

A group of armed and uniformed personnel from the 160 Territorial Army, accompanied by senior Indian Army officials, had stormed the police station, as seen in a video.

The Territorial Army is a military reserve force composed of part-time volunteers who provide support services to the Indian Army.

According to the FIR, the armed group led by lieutenant colonels Ankit Sood, Rajiv Chauhan and Nikhil forcibly entered the premises of the police station. They proceeded to launch a brutal assault on police personnel present there, using rifle butts and sticks and kicking them without any provocation, it stated.

The situation escalated further as the army personnel brandished their weapons, seized mobile-phones from the injured police officers and even abducted a police constable before fleeing the scene, the FIR stated.

The swift response of senior police officers helped rescue the targeted police personnel and initiate legal action against the perpetrators.

The FIR has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 307 (attempt to murder), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 147 (punishment for rioting).

The accused also face charges under sections 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 392 (punishment for robbery), 397 (robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) and 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person).

They have been also booked under the Arms Act, according to the FIR.

The investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Kupwara deputy superintendent of police. Authorities aim to uncover the full extent of the crime and bring the accused individuals to justice, officials said.

Srinagar-based defence spokesperson sought to downplay the incident and said the reports of altercation between police and army personnel and “beating up therein of police personnel are misfounded and incorrect”.

“Minor differences between the police personnel and a Territorial Army unit on an operational matter have been amicably resolved,” the spokesperson had said in a statement on Wednesday.

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