SRINAGAR: Residents of Samboora village near Pampore on Wednesday said that government forces attacked the village without any reason on Tuesday evening. They said that troops fired pellets which injured some persons and also severely beat up a farmer.
Javaid Ahmed Dar, 32, said he was returning from his paddy fields located at some distance in Beijebagh at 5pm when he saw near his home “a group of boys running, the government forces running after them”.
“I thought it better to run, but I tripped and fell down after only a few meters. When I stood up and walked a few steps, troopers caught me,” Dar said lying on the hospital bed at Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar.
“They started beating me with sambals (iron rods). I pleaded with them that I had done nothing. I even tried to show my muddy feet as proof that I was working in fields. But they did not listen,” said Dar.
“Their only answer was kicks and iron rods. I was beaten like a cattle for twenty minutes,” Dar said.
Before the troops left him, Dar said they “inserted an iron rod in my right leg. The pain made me unconscious.”
His brother Muneer Ahmed Dar took him to hospital. He said that villagers had sent word that Dar was “ruthlessly beaten by government forces”.
“We rushed him to SMHS hospital, from where he was referred to Bone and Joint hospital,” Muneer said.
Dar says he is unaware of what happened in his village during his absence. A doctor treating him said, on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, “He has suffered fracture in both bones (tibia and fibula) of his right leg. He has compound injuries with a 1-cm wound near proximal aspect (upper part) of his right leg.”
The medical file of Javaid also noted trauma in left shoulder, left elbow, and back.
An advocate (name withheld on request) who has a house on the uphill side in Samboora that overlooks the village was hit by pellets in his right eye on Tuesday evening. He said, “At about 5 in the evening, CRPF and police men suddenly arrived in vehicles in the village. I was on the second story of my house when I saw the vehicles. Then my brother came running and told me that government forces had gone on a rampage in the entire village,” said Azhar.
Azhar said he was anxious about his cousin sisters who lived in Akramdar Mohalla, adjacent to the village, who had only an aged grandmother with them at home. He went out to reach their home. “I saw government forces hurling abuses, picking stones from the road and targeting window glasses of houses. Then I saw government forces trying to barge into homes. In the meantime boys from adjoining villages of Lelhaar, Kakapora, Naman, Ikhoo, Begumbagh, and Hatiwara had assembled and were resisting the troops.”
Azhar said he failed to understand why the forces had attacked the village as there was neither any stone-throwing nor any barricades erected on the roads by the villagers.
Talib Ahmed, 25, a resident of the village and a casual worker with the Power Development Corporation, said that the government troops damaged power transformers in the area. “My fellow workers informed me that 6 transformers had been damaged by troops in the village,” Talib said.
Talib went to Ganai mohalla near the main road to see the damage to a transformer. “We saw four bullets had hit the tank of the transformer and oil was dripping out continuously. One bullet had torn apart a wire of the transformer,” said Talib.
Talib climbed a ladder to repair the wire and was struck by a powerful electric shock. Nursing his injuries in hospital, he said, “It was dark in the whole village and I thought electric supply had been cut.”
Talib’s medical records note trauma to his left elbow due to the fall from the ladder.
SP Awantipora refused to comment on the incident.
A CRPF deputy commandant said that there was an intelligence input of “militant” presence in the area. “At about 6:30 in the evening a joint cordon was laid in the area by 55 RR of army, CRPF and (police) SOG. We came under stone-throwing from all sides,” he said.
He said the “operation” turned into a “law and order problem”. “Pellets and tear gas shells were used by us and police, which injured some people,” he said.
Later, the CRPF deputy commandant said, “We even took the injured to Pampore hospital.”
He said he had received no report of police or CRPF beating a farmer.