Bandipora: Villagers of Ashtengoo in north Kashmir’s Bandipora on Monday alleged that army soldiers barged into their houses and ransacked property, besides thrashing several people, including women.
The villagers said they had blocked the road in protest against the killings of local youth Naseer Ahmad Sheikh and local policeman Shahzad Ahmad, who were killed in different incidents on Friday. An army convoy arrived at the road and youths in the area pelted it with stones, locals said, after which the soldiers came down from their vehicles and attacked the village. Locals said that the soldiers ransacked property and broke the window panes of various houses as well as of a mosque. The soldiers also beat up many people, including women, and damaged vehicles, the villagers said.
After the incident, police reached the spot, which further angered the people who protested against what they called the highhandedness of government forces. Villagers alleged that the policemen, who were part of the special operations group (SOG), together with the army soldiers ransacked property in Tawheed Mohalla and Hagerpora areas of the village.
Police officials said that the army convoy which was pelted with stones by the villagers was of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the army unit at Watlab area.
Srinagar-based army spokesman Rajesh Kalia told Kashmir Reader that “Army personnel have not damaged or ransacked any property and they have not beaten anybody, leave aside women. They didn’t even manhandle anyone.”