Forces ‘ransack’ houses, damage vehicles in Kulgam village

Locals stage protest, police assures action

KHALID GUL
Kulgam, Publish Date: Jan 22 2018 12:08AM | Updated Date: Jan 22 2018 12:08AM
Forces ‘ransack’ houses, damage vehicles in Kulgam villagePhoto: Mir Wasim/GK

The government forces on Saturday night allegedly ransacked dozens of houses and damaged vehicles at Redwani Bala village of Qaimoh in Kulgam district during a cordon and search operation.

The forces action triggered massive protests in the area today even as police assured action “if allegations of excesses proved right.”

A source said that police, army and paramilitary forces on Saturday evening started cordon and launched search operation around Redwani Bala and adjoining Hawoora village following inputs about presence of militants in the area.

“As the cordon was being established, people came out and pelted stones on the forces who retaliated by resorting to aerial firing and lobbing tear shells,” he said.

People alleged that before the cordon was lifted, government forces went “berserk” and barged into houses. “They vandalized property and also damaged vehicles parked outside in Redwani Bala village. The forces smashed window panes, washing machines and other household items that came their way,” said one of the members of local Auqaf committee.

He said that the committee 36 houses were ransacked and 10 vehicles damaged in the incident.  

“One of the motor bikes parked outside was also set ablaze by the forces,” he alleged. The forces, locals alleged also damaged house of a local militant, Javed Ahmad Bhat.

People in the morning assembled in the village and staged protests against the “excesses.”

Superintendent of Police (SP) Kulgam Sridhar Patel assured action “if the allegations proved right.”

“If there has been ransacking of houses, people should come forward and file a complaint with us. We are not going to tolerate this behavior and would definitely take necessary action after investigations,” SP said.

He, however, said that preliminary reports suggest that the vehicles parked outside might have suffered damages due to stone pelting.

“There was heavy stone pelting from the mob and it is quite possible the vehicles or window panes of houses were damaged after being hit with stones during clashes,” SP said.

 

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