Ganderbal: On the road that connects Fatehpora village with Beehama chowk in Ganderbal district, not a single house has its windowpanes intact. Residents of the area say that army soldiers go around breaking windows and doors in the night hours and also barge into homes, where they beat women and children.
A 35-year old woman told Kashmir Reader that she was beaten in her private parts by army soldiers on Friday night. “It is humiliating to tell where and how these cruel people beat me when everyone in the village was asleep. By the time the villagers came out of their homes, they had thrashed me and my family members,” the woman said.
She said that the soldiers do not care who they are beating, woman, child or elderly. “They will beat until we plead forgiveness or fall unconscious,” she said.
Waseem Ahmad, a local resident, said that after the pro-freedom leadership’s call for ‘Hazaratbal Chalo’ on Friday, August 5, intense clashes occurred in the village with army soldiers.
“A heavy contingent of forces reached here and started indiscriminate teargas and pellet gun firing that left several injured. Among the injured, a few youths were critically injured and are yet to recuperate from the injuries. They are being treated at hideouts to save them from the police,” Ahmad said.
As per the locals, nearly 100 persons have been injured, mostly by pellets and baton charging, since the uprising began on July 8.
Despite the efforts of villagers to keep the troops at bay, six youths have been arrested from the area.
An 18-year-old Class 11 student who has actively participated in protest demonstrations said he has been living in his relative’s home for the past twelve days to escape police detention.
“On three occasions my house was raided by police but luckily I wasn’t there. I knew police would be raiding my house anytime, particularly during the night hours,” he said.
He said that police have compiled a long list of alleged stone-pelters and their houses are being raided every night.
“For us, every night is scary. We have abandoned our houses and are now living with our relatives,” he said.
Another villager whose home was severely damaged a few days ago by the troops said that the troops broke all the windows and doors of his home and also fired a few teargas shells into the house.
“It was horrible to see a contingent of army, police and CRPF breaking down our main door and windows with gun butts and batons. The forces barged into our house and beat me and my family members. My parents could have died due to suffocation caused by the tear-smoke,” he said.
Ghulam Ahmad, a 70-year-old who was beaten to pulp by government forces outside his house, said, “After me, they started thrashing the windowpanes of my house. I pleaded with them to not smash the windows but they went on. Even as they were leaving they once again thrashed me with batons.”
Locals say that every time troops pass through the village, they damage property. Troops have also ransacked the local mosque and damaged many private vehicles parked inside the lawns of houses.
“They want to put down the resistance but our uprising will continue till justice is delivered to us,” a group of youth said.