After facing massive criticism for damaging private vehicles, beating up pedestrians and manhandling elderly people on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr at Eidgah here, the Central Reserve Police Force Friday said it has initiated "disciplinary proceedings" against their men involved in the "anti-people act." The CRPF's intervention comes after a picture that showed a CRPF man carrying a big rock in his hand and breaking the windscreen of a brand new vehicle near Eidgah on the day of Eid, went viral on social networking sites. The CRPF act evoked strong criticism from the netizens.
In another picture, an elderly man, who had apparently come to Eidgah to offer the congregational prayers, was seen surrounded by three CRPF men in riot gear with one of them about to beat him with a plastic cane.
"See, how brave CRPF men are targeting a brand new Hyundai car and its driver, and yet they call us terrorists," commented a Facebook user. "These CRPF men should get bravery award for surrounding an elderly man and beating him…," commented Aijaz Ahmed, another Facebook user.
The two pictures have evoked hundreds of comments from the Facebook users, criticizing the CRPF men for targeting innocent people. Eidgah and its adjoining areas witnessed massive clashes soon after Eid congregational prayers ended there.
Pertinently, the authorities had placed Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest. The move triggered anger among the devotees, who had assembled at Eidgah to listen to Mirwaiz's speech.
The residents of Eidgah, Narwara, Nawakadal and Safakadal alleged that CRPF men used excessive force in the areas.
"We were heading towards our respective homes soon after offering Eid prayers. CRPF men instead of chasing the stone-pelters started beating every pedestrian. They were hurling abuses at us and even made it difficult for our children to reach home," said Jan Muhammad, a resident of Nawakadal.
He said the forces personnel, who were deployed in strength, were hitting every vehicle and shouting at every devotee. "Our children were frightened and they started crying," he said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Inspector General of CRPF Atul Karwal said they have got the picture showing a CRPF man hitting a vehicle with a stone. "We have identified the man and have taken disciplinary action against him. We will not tolerate any indiscipline," he said. About another picture, he said: "We haven't received the second picture about the elderly man being beaten up. Let us go through the picture first. If our men would be found involved in this case too, they will be punished."
He said crowd was huge and situation was tough to control. "Dozens of our men too have got injured while controlling the protestors," he claimed.
Reports of excessive use of forces also poured in from Ashajipora and Janglatmandi areas of Anantnag in South Kashmir after congregational Eid prayers. Locals said the police and CRPF fired dozens of tear smoke shells inside local masjid, leading to suffocation and chaos among the women devotees at both the places.