Elsewhere, students block Anantnag-Verinag road demanding punishment to army men
ANANTNAG: Protests erupted in Okai village of Kulgam after army soldiers beat up a civilian during a ’90s style crackdown on Tuesday. Army soldiers arrived at the village early morning and asked all men in the village to assemble at a local ground. Villagers said that after the men assembled at the ground, soldiers beat up a youth for reaching the ground late.
“On seeing the youth being thrashed by the army men, a group of women started raising slogans. Soon, other women came out of their homes and together they rescued the youth from the clutches of the army men,” a village resident told Kashmir Reader.
Fearing trouble, the army men called off the operation and started leaving the village, local residents said. The soldiers fired several shots in the air to disperse the protesting women.
On the same day, students held protests against army soldiers of 19 RR in Larkipora area of Anantnag. The students complained that the soldiers had beaten some of their fellows. They said that army soldiers stopped a mini-bus near their camp and asked the passengers to come out. “After checking the identity cards of the passengers, the army men separated the students and beat them with their gun butts and canes,” a student told Kashmir Reader.
The women passengers, students said, protested the beating and saved the students from the army soldiers.
Later, when news of the army soldiers beating students spread in the area, hundreds of students assembled at Larkipora chowk and blocked the Anantnag-Verinag road, disrupting traffic movement for hours. They demanded punishment of the army soldiers and said that this was the second time in the past four days that army men have targeted students. “Today they have left the students bruised. One of the students has received minor injuries in his head,” a student told Kashmir Reader over phone.
Top officials of the administration and police rushed to the spot and pacified the protesting students, assuring them of action against the guilty army soldiers.
Massive protests had erupted in the nearby Dooru town a few days ago after army men of the same 19 RR camp allegedly beat up a group of students near Nowgam after asking them to come down from a passenger vehicle.