Midnight raid at slain militant’s home, family beaten up by ‘dozens of policemen’

Midnight raid at slain militant’s home, family beaten up by ‘dozens of policemen’
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‘It seems the police want me to pick up arms now,’ says elder brother

Mohammad Suhail

Kulgam: Police in Kulgam have allegedly thrashed the parents and siblings of a slain Lashkar militant during a midnight raid at their home in Gofbal village.
The parents and the brother of Majid Zargar, a Lashkar militant killed in December last year, have all been left injured after dozens of policemen beat them inside their home.
The family alleged that nearly 40 armed policemen barged into their house in Gofbal village in Qaimoh during the intervening night of Saturdayand Sunday.
“It was about 1:30am when we heard loud bangs on our door,” said Ghulam Mohiuddin Zargar, Majid’s father. Nursing a bloodshot right eye, Mohiuddin said that the policemen beat up the family members for more than an hour.
Majid’s elder brother Feroz Ahmad said he was ruthlessly beaten. “The policemen tried to take me away with them, but somehow I managed to escape from their clutches and ran away,” he said.
Feroz’s right hand has been badly injured. He said that dozens of policemen beat him for more than half an hour, before he made his escape.
Dilshada, Majid’s mother, said she, too, was beaten up by the policemen.
“My son was a Lashkar commander and police raids are not new at our house, but for the first time I felt terrified. I thought they were going to kill us all,” Dilshada told Kashmir Reader.
The police left when neighbours started gathering near the Zargar house, located a bit aloof from other houses in Gofbal village.
The brazen attack comes after a recent meeting of the Unified Command at SKICC in which Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had stressed that families of militants should not be harassed.
The Zargar family alleged that police harassment has only grown after Majid’s killing last year. “I never complained of harassment when Majid was alive. But why is my family being targeted now?” Mohiuddin said.
He said that his elder son Feroz gets regular calls from police to present himself at one place or the other.
“I am a small-time businessman and my only connection with militants was my brother, who is long dead now,” Feroz said.
Feroz feels the way police are harassing him and the way they beat him last night indicates that “the police want me to pick up arms now.”
Mohiuddin said he was afraid that if the harassment continued, his elder son may pick up arms. “Why just my son? Last night’s thrashing can force even an old man like me to pick up arms,” said Mohiuddin.
SP Kugam Sreedhar Patil acknowledged that a raid was conducted at Zargar’s house last “evening”. He said it was regarding Feroz Zargar, “who we need to appear for a statement regarding a case.”
“Nobody was beaten. The raid was conducted after Feroz ignored repeated summons to appear before the police. We need his statement in a case. I don’t know why he is not cooperating,” Patil told Kashmir Reader.
Asked if ignoring summons from police invites a raid at 1:30am, Patil said he does not know the exact time. “It was in the evening hours when the raid was conducted,” he said.

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