SRINAGAR: Paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers have unleashed a reign of terror in entire Batamaloo area of Srinagar, where a 16-year-old boy Yasir Ahmed Sheikh was shot dead on Monday evening.
Residents of Batamaloo said that CRPF troopers have damaged property worth lakhs by hurling rocks and bricks on houses and smashing vehicles parked on the roads. CRPF troopers have also set two auto-rickshaws on fire, residents said.
On Monday night, the locality witnessed massive protests as people gave vent to their anger after a local youth was shot dead near Masjid Baka Sahib. “After Yasir was laid to rest, hundreds of youth marched on the streets shouting anti-India and pro-Azadi slogans throughout the night. Angry youth burnt logs and tyres on road and played Azadi songs in mosques,” eye-witnesses said.
“In the morning today, CRPF troopers announced their arrival by firing aerial shots. They were greeted by sloganeering and stone-pelting by the local youths,” locals said. Soon after, CRPF troopers went on a rampage in the entire Batamaloo locality.
“Two auto-rickshaws parked on the roadside in SD Colony, where the slain youth Yasir lived, were set on fire by the CRPF men. They smashed the window panes of all the houses along the road leading to Alochi Bagh. Even the wooden frames of windows were broken by bricks and stones hurled by the troopers,” locals said.
Similar scenes were witnessed in New Colony and Bazar-e-Batamaloo areas. “I was teaching my kids in my room when the window panes were shattered by a half-brick that CRPF men hurled from below. This was followed by abuses from the men in khaki who challenged us to come out. My children had a narrow escape as glass splinters could have injured them badly,” said Imtiyaz Ahmed, a resident of Bazar-e-Batamaloo.
In New Colony, the scene was no different. “CRPF men charged on the locality and smashed windows and doors of many houses near the park. They also got hold of some boys and beat them badly,” Azad Ahmed, a resident, said.
Batamaloo locality has seen unrelenting protests and clashes since the killing of Hizb Commander Burhan Wani. Many local youth have been injured in violent clashes with police and CRPF.
In Dyarwani area of Batamaloo, CRPF troopers were seen trying to unlock shutters with an iron rod. The residents were asked to switch off lights in the night.