Budgam: A family in Lassipora area of Khag village in Budgam district alleged on Saturday that army soldiers thrashed and beat its members during a nocturnal raid. Among those thrashed were the 85-year-old head of the family, Assadullah Khan, and his son, government school teacher Riyaz Ahmad Khan.
The Khan family told Kashmir Reader that they were severally injured after they were allegedly attacked by the army.
“It was 10 pm when we observed a suspicious movement of some persons outside our home and we came out to see,” said Assadullah’s son, Abdul Majid Khan, who also sustained head injuries. “We saw dozens of army men there. We asked them for their identification, but they fled to the nearby paddy fields and disappeared.”
Majid said that at around 11:45 pm, hundreds of forces personnel came again and banged at their doors and windows. “They frightened us and barged in. We shouted helplessly, but they beat us ruthlessly with their gun barrels and injured six of us severely.
“My father, an aged man, and our children all were thrashed. From small to old, from ladies to gents, no one was spared,” Majid said.
He added that blood was oozing from his family members’ injuries, “but we were helpless as they had created a terror among the common people”.
Majid told Kashmir Reader that in the meantime they called police station Khag over the phone to intervene, but they allegedly paid no heed. Station House Officer (SHO)Khag refused to come, saying nothing had happened.
“Later at around 1 am we went to police station Khag to register a complaint against the army, but the police did not open the main gate of the station,” Majid alleged.
When contacted, SHO Khag Mohammad Aslam told Kashmir Reader that the army had gone to search the Khans’ house, but the family mistook the army men for braid choppers and raised an alarm. “After inputs regarding the presence of militants, the army had cordoned off the house of Khan, but the family members mistook the army as braid choppers. They shouted, and the army tried to make them silent and thrashed them,” SHO Aslam said. He added that no one was critically injured.
Aslam refuted the family’s allegations and said that no one from among the family had visited police station that night. “It is a baseless allegation,” he said.
Those injured in the alleged army thrashing have been identified as Riyaz Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Umar Khan, Assadullah Khan, Mohammad Maqbool Khan and Gulzar Ahmad Khan.
In response, the teachers’ community of Budgam district on Saturday condemned the thrashing by the army, with both the district’s Teachers’ Forum and the Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) Teachers’ Forum condemning the incident.
“It is a blood curdling incident in which a government school teacher, Riyaz Ahmad Khan, of Habber Lassipora was beaten black and blue by Army personnel after the family noticed some suspicious movement and came outside their house. Such incidents will inevitably create a mistrust in people and affect the psyche of the teachers negatively,” reads the statement, quoting the president, District Teachers’ Forum, Budgam, Mohammad Shafi Rather.
Meanwhile, the ReT Forum of the district has also condemned the incident. “Police should look into such incidents. Otherwise the forum will hit streets in protest,” said the ReT Forum.
They also appealed to the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP Budgam to initiate investigation, take strict action against the culprits and ensure speedy justice to the victims.