A group of armed personnel from the 160 Territorial Army storming the Police Station Kupwara
A group of armed personnel from the 160 Territorial Army storming the Police Station Kupwara on the intervening night of May 28 and 29, 2024

SRINAGAR — Kupwara Police has lodged an FIR against 16 army personnel including three lieutenant colonels for allegedly entering into a police station on Tuesday night and assaulting on-duty policemen. The incident left four policemen injured.

According to media reports, Kupwara Police have invoked IPC sections relating to rioting, robbery, kidnapping and attempted murder against the soldiers.

The FIR was filed in relation to the incident that took place on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday (28-29 May). According to reports, a Police versus Army battle broke out in the region following the questioning of a Territorial Army jawan by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in connection with an alleged drug case.

Video evidence was provided showing a group of armed and uniformed personnel from the 160 Territorial Army storming the Kupwara police station. The Territorial Army is a military reserve force composed of part-time volunteers who provide support services to the Indian Army.

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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, a Mint newspaper report said. 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).

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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).

According to the FIR, they have also been booked under the Arms Act.

The Kupwara deputy superintendent of police is investigating the incident. Officials said that authorities aim to uncover the full extent of the crime and bring the accused individuals to justice.

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

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