SRINAGAR: A joint group of army, police, and paramilitary CRPF went berserk in Shallipora and Jamia Mohallah villages at Langate, Kupwara, on Sunday and damaged the residents’ properties, the locals said.
The group, according to locals, barged into the houses between 4 to 6 pm, and damaged window panes, doors, and household items.
“The group damaged window panes worth Rs 50,000 and a glass room worth Rs1.5 lakh of my newly-constricted house. My motorbike and refrigerator were also broken. We could not do anything when they entered our house. We just tried to hide to save ourselves,” Ghulam Mohuddin, a resident of Shalipora, told Kashmir Reader.
Mohammad Abdullah Mir of the same locality said that besides damaging his house, the forces also broke his car.
“Inside my home, they kept on shouting koyi hae (is anybody here?). But I, my wife, and our two children hid inside a room, keeping mum. In the rampage, my wife was hit in her leg. She received nine stitches in it at Langate Sub-District Hospital later,” he said.
The action was response to a group of youth pelting stones at the government forces for a brief period on Sunday afternoon. The youth, as per the locals, threw stones when some vehicles of police and CRPF were on their way to 30 RR camp.
“They (police and CRPF) returned with army soldiers. Led by police, the forces dispersed the protesters with teargas and pellets. Once the Langate street was cleared, they jointly carried out the attack on the houses,” Firdous Ahmad, a local, said.
“They first entered into a blacksmith’s shop to grab hammers and other tools. Then, a grocery, a hardware store, and a restaurant were attacked one after the other.
“A freezer and other items were taken out from the restaurant and destroyed on the street. Rice sacks and oil tins were destroyed too,” he added.
“Five cars, six shops, and more than 10 houses were damaged. All this happened outside the offices of tehsildar and district forester,” he added. The two villages are just 100 feet away from the 30 RR camp and half-a-km away from a police post.
Firdous said tehsildar of the area, M Gani, visited the area and informed his higher-ups about the situation.
When contacted by this newspaper, Gani confirmed the attack.
The local MLA, Abdul Rashed, said that he would personally compensate the losses and would look for ways to take on the forces.
The paramilitary CRPF, however, refuted the incident.
“According to our knowledge, no such incident has happened,” CRPF spokesperson, Bhavesh Chowdry, said.
The army spokesperson, NN Joshi, did not respond to repeated calls from Kashmir Reader.