ANANTNAG: Police arrested a dozen youth on charges of stone-pelting during night raids in several localities of Pulwama district Saturday night. The raids and arrests led to protests in the area.
Locals told Kashmir Reader over phone that policemen during night hours carried out raids on homes of several youth in Prichoo, Wagum and Malikpora localities and arrested a dozen of them. “The policemen barged into our houses in the dead of night and arrested at least eight youth,” a resident of Prichoo told Kashmir Reader.
In the nearby village of Wagum, policemen arrested three youth, locals said.
In similar raids, one youth was arrested from Malikpora locality of the town. In Barpora village, policemen, locals said, arrested a middle-aged man identified as Abdul Hamid after his son allegedly involved in stone-pelting was found missing from home.
Parents and relatives of the arrested youths held protests in the morning and blocked the busy Pulwama-Srinagar road for hours. The protesting people alleged that their children were innocent.
SSP Pulwama Choudhry Muhammad Aslam confirmed the arrests of youth during nocturnal raids but denied allegations that they have been arrested on false grounds.
“We have proper evidence of the involvement of the arrested youth in stone-pelting. We don’t arrest blindly but after collecting all the evidence. Some of these arrested youths are chronic stone throwers while some are instigators,” SSP Pulwama told Kashmir Reader.
Pulwama town has been witnessing stone-throwing protests on almost daily basis since April 15 when police had used force against the students of government degree college Pulwama causing injuries to about fifty students.