Srinagar: Army vehicles crushed nine horses of nomadic Bakerwals to death and injured three other horses in Kulgam’s Frisal village on Sunday, locals said. The army has denied the allegation.
Two Bakerwal men are missing after the incident. They are believed to have been detained by the army after they protested the killing of the horses.
Eyewitnesses said that a group of Bakerwal shepherds moving to the plains ahead of winter was herding their livestock along the main road when the army vehicles reached the spot and in a fit of rage crushed nine horses to death under their wheels and broke the legs of three others.
Three members of the Bakerwal group were then beaten with the sticks they were carrying by the army soldiers. Two others, identified as Mohammad Saleem and Mohammad Khan, were taken away by the soldiers and there is as yet no trace of them. The shepherds went to the Frisal police station where the police told them to first clear the road of the bodies of their horses. The shepherds said that the police did not file an FIR on their complaint.
“The army men were infuriated over the blockade of the road by the livestock and without waiting drove their vehicles over them,” said a local.
The army men, he said, also ruthlessly thrashed the nomads and arrested two of them. The three persons beaten by the soldiers have been identified as Abdul Waheed, Mohammad Mushtaq and Muhammad Junaid.
“It is a wrong report. We deny it,” said Srinagar-based PRO of the army Col Rajesh Kalia. Meanwhile, police said that an FIR has been lodged against unknown persons over the incident.