3 youth 'beaten' during identification parade; locals protest; forces resort to aerial firing

3 youth 'beaten' during identification parade; locals protest; forces resort to aerial firing

Reports said that army’s 62 RR and SOG Shopian cordoned Harman village of Shopian district late last night and a search operation was started early today.

Forces resorted to aerial firing on Wednesday to disperse residents of Shopian who were protesting against crackdown in the area and alleged thrashing of three local youth.

Reports said that army’s 62 RR and SOG Shopian cordoned Harman village of Shopian district late last night and a search operation was started early today.

“The locals were assembled at one place for identification parade during which forces arrested three local youths and allegedly beat them,” eyewitnesses said.

Cordoning a locality, assembling people at one place and subjecting them to identification parade is called crackdown in security parlance. The phenomenon was common in the Kashmir of 1990s when militancy was at its peak.

“The people started shouting slogans against the alleged highhandedness of the forces. They even threw Kangris on the personnel,” eyewitnesses said.

The forces fired several shots in the air to disperse the protesters.

Later the cordon was lifted and the youths released, reports said.

Police claimed that nothing untoward happened in the area. “This was a search operation by police and army and we did not arrest or beat anyone,” SP Shopian, Altaf Khan, said. “The forces did not fire in air.”