SOUTH CITY TOPS CAPITAL ATROCITIES
Killings, crackdowns, arrests, protests…
Srinagar, Sept 2: Shahr-e-Khaas could be volcanic hub of the summer Capital. But in the past two months of unrest, the south City seems to have faced more atrocities at the alleged hands of police and paramilitary CRPF than elsewhere in Srinagar.
From the killing of nine year old –allegedly trampled under CRPF jackboots; to the crackdowns; to misbehaviour with women; all this has been reported from the south City areas like Bemina, Batamaloo, Rambagh, Natipora and Chanapora since June 11 when old City teenager, Tufail Ahmed Matto was killed. Moreover, majority of killings in the City were reported from the south.
On July 6, three persons including a woman were killed in Batamaloo area almost one after another as mourners literally fell to coffins on the fateful day.
Still, the police and CRPF reportedly continued with the use of force and even allegedly beat the dead at Firdousabad when mourners were taking the bodies for burial. This happened reportedly in the presence of senior police officials.
On August 2, in Batamaloo again, a nine year old boy Sameer Ahmed Rah died when he was allegedly crushed to death under jackboots by CRPF troopers. The family has accused the police of hush-up into the case.
In between, Iqbal Ahmed, a Chanapora youth died after succumbing to bullet injuries he received during protests against the civilian killings.
3 ‘MYSTERIOUS’ DEATHS
Three persons were crushed to death in road mishaps in Batamaloo and vicinity during the turmoil. While, in one of the cases, a hotel management pass-out was mowed down by a speeding police bus, a few days prior to that, a Batamaloo man, as per the locals was crushed allegedly by a CRPF vehicle.
Both the deaths triggered massive protests with people taking to streets against police and CRPF.
In the latest on August 17, a retired assistant sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police died in a road accident at Batmaloo. His family said the former cop was hit by a fast moving CRPF vehicle but police denies the allegations.
Quoting eyewitnesses, the family of Muhammad Yousuf Khan, 84, of SD Colony Batamaloo said he was hit by a CRPF vehicle near Nund Reshi Colony while the police said an “unknown vehicle” hit Khan resulting in his on the spot death.
The police has started crackdown in the south City to arrest “miscreants” with Bemina taking the lead.
On August 21, the police and CRPF during a joint operation picked up scores of people including a seven year old boy, a 80-year old man and a Masjid Imam.
Besides the troopers allegedly misbehaved with the women folk who came out to protest detention of their kiths and kins.
A senior cop was reportedly seen snatching headgear of a woman. The incident drew flak from various quarters particularly women community. While separatist leader Syeda Asiya Andrabi condemned the incident as “outrageous and atrocious”, the PDP President Mahbooba Mufti didn’t stay back as she too out rightly condemned the police action in her press conference.
Since then the raids continue in the south. On August 22 youth including roadside cart vendors were bundled in police gypsies and whisked away to police station Shergarhi, which is adjacent to the infamous torture camp, the Cargo. Some of the detained youth have alleged that they were tortured at the Cargo.
The same continued on August 23 with residents of Mahjoor Nagar taking to streets against police action. Besides, as per complaints, the south City youth are often picked up for questioning and released after harassment.
While windowpanes of dozens of houses alongside the roads in the south City areas like Ram Bagh, Tengpora and Natipora, as per the locals, were targeted by the police and paramilitary, even the medicine shops were not spared.
On August 13, reports said that a CRPF party popped up in the Chanapora area and seeing the medical shops—New Khan Dispensary and Sami medicos- open, the troops popped in and damaged medicine without any provocation.
On the day the locals of Azad Basti Natipora said that personnel of 178 Bn CRPF thrashed several people in the evening without any provocation.
The City police chief Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari didn’t respond to phone calls despite repeated attempts. A top cop in central Kashmir said it would need time to comment on such an analytical issue.
“Killings could be more in south than elsewhere in the City… But about the rest there have been no crackdowns,” the official added.
He said some youth were arrested from Bemina on charges of extorting money from truckers. “Rest, the south City remained like elsewhere,” the official added.
Complaints could be many against the security forces. But police had been reluctant even to acknowledge the complaint made by a Magistrate.
On July 2, Judicial Magistrate, MA Al-Nasir working with the state High Court had a narrow escape when paramilitary CRPF men attacked his car with lathis and gun butts near his Chanapora residence on the City outskirts. A PSO, driving the car, was wounded in the attack. The police declined to register FIR against the security forces, the Magistrate had complained.
While this is about the areas under south City police jurisdiction, the Maisuma locality, which is barely a few yards away, remained much like the south.
Was it because of proximity to the south or something else, but Maisuma witnessed deadly action during the unrest while many including those playing on the streets were reportedly targeted by the men in uniform. One of the victims was a close relative of senior pro-freedom leader, Muhammad Yasin Malik.
Prominent human rights activist Khurram Parvez said his organization received most of the complaints of atrocities from the south than elsewhere in Srinagar.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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