Army terms it ‘minor altercation’, police says issue resolved
Ganderbal: Six policemen including an ASI rank officer were injured when army soldiers beat them up at police station Gund in Ganderbal district on Friday evening.
A senior police officer told Kashmir Reader that a group of 30 army men in civvies, whom police took to be yatris, first broke a police naka (checkpoint) at Sonamarg.
“All these army men were in civvies and travelling in private vehicles. They were returning from the cave where they had gone for the pilgrimage,” said the officer.
He said that instead of cooperating with policemen at the naka, the army removed the barricades and went ahead at 9:30pm.
He said the army men were again stopped by police at another naka at Gund. This time, when policemen did not allow movement of their vehicles, the army men in civvies called their fellow army soldiers from nearby camps.
“About 30 more army men reached the spot. They, without any provocation, thrashed the policemen and ransacked the police station Gund,” the officer said.
He said that all the policemen present at the naka were beaten by the army men, leaving six of them with injuries.
“The army men also damaged the Sumo vehicle of the police station and another private vehicle (Scorpio) which police had hired for yatra duty. They even damaged the station’s infrastructure,” the officer said.
He said that following the recent militant attack on yatris in Anantnag district, strict instructions had been passed to policemen to not allow movement of any yatri vehicle during odd hours.
“Policemen were performing their duty and the army action is unjustified,” he said.
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ganderbal Fayaz Lone said that army soldiers assaulted policemen and ransacked the police station Gund in Ganderbal district.
“The incident took place late last evening after policemen tried to stop soldiers in civvies who were returning from Amarnath yatra and were not allowed to move ahead during night hours,” he said.
“Army has initiated an inquiry into the incident,” he said.
Meanwhile, police have registered a case against the group of army personnel for vandalising the Gund police station.
A case has been registered against the army soldiers at police station Gund and investigations have been taken up, a police official said.
The army has said that the issue has been sorted out after intervention by senior officers of army as well as police.
“A minor altercation took place yesterday night between some army personnel returning from Amarnath Yatra in civil dress and JKP personnel at Gund,” army pokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said in a statement.
“No major injuries were suffered in the incident” Kalia added.
Meanwhile, police in a statement said that 30 army men returning from Amarnath Yatra thrashed cops and ransacked police station Gund.
“These Army men forcibly after breaking the barrier (at Sonamarg) moved towards Gund. At Gund these vehicles were again stopped by SHO Police Station Gund and his men and were taken to Police Station Gund in order to avoid any ugly scene on roadside,” said the police statement.
“It was then that an Army officer with his men from nearby Army Unit entered the police station and had heated argument with SHO resulting in scuffle between Army men and policemen in which some policemen received minor injuries,” the statement added.
Besides taking cognisance of the matter, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan, has brought the matter to the notice of the Corps Commander and GoC Victor Force, “who acted firmly and resolved the issue by way of sending a senior officer to Police Station Gund and assuring action against the erring officer and his men,” the police statement said.