Forces arrest six, assault Battengoo village after yatra attack

Forces arrest six, assault Battengoo village after yatra attack
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Mohammad Suhail

Battengoo: Following the attack on Amarnath Yatris in Anantnag, government forces allegedly went berserk in Battengoo village and detained at least six people, including two students, on Tuesday.
Yatris were attacked late Monday evening by unidentified gunmen in Battengoo village, along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. The attack left seven persons dead and more than 20 others injured.
The attack took place at about 8:25 PM Monday evening and within minutes a cache of forces had taken over the whole area. Shopkeepers in the vicinity had already fled after the firing.
One shopkeeper, however, a general-store owner, could not wind his shop up in time.
Mushtaq Ahmad Laway was sitting at his brother Showket Ahmad Laway’s general store, just outside their house in the area.
“They were seen by the government forces as the last ones to leave the area,” said Shabnum, Mushtaq’s wife.
She said that the brothers soon returned home and then their family, along with one of their neighbours’, took refuge in the upper storey of their house.
“They started banging at our gate at about 10 PM. Terrified, we did not open the door. They scaled the boundary wall and then forced their way into our house,” Shabnum said.
She said that the forces went berserk soon as they entered the premises of the house, breaking doors and window panes.
The family alleged that the forces took away the day’s sale from the shop along with them.
The forces also took away with them Showket and Mushtaq, the two sons of their deceased elder brother, their sister’s son, and a neighbour who had taken shelter at their house.
The young students, sons of Mushtaq’s elder brother, have been identified as Amir Amin Laway and Asif Amin Laway.
“Amir is preparing for MBBS at Srinagar and had come for a visit home. Asif studies in Class 10 at the nearby army school,” a family friend, Tariq Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader.
He said the police have assured that all of the detained will be released this evening.
However, no one among them was released while this copy was being filed.
Locals have also alleged that the forces damaged some other houses in the vicinity as well.
SSP Anantnag, Altaf Khan, denied having made any arrests from the area. “Nobody was arrested,” Khan said.

 

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