Police ‘thrash’ traders protesting theft in Wathura

SRINAGAR: Police on Thursday allegedly thrashed a group of traders in Wathura area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district, who were protesting against the theft at a copper store by unknown burglars on Wednesday night.
Dozens of traders assembled this morning at the main Chowk, Wathura, and staged protests against the rising burglary incidents in the area, a local news agency, GNS reported.
Chanting slogans, the protests said that burglars have let ‘loose a reign of terror’ in the area by striking the business establishments.
According to the GNS, the protesters also accused police of failing to curb the activities of the burglars.
When the protests were going on, a police team reached the spot and used batons to disperse the protesting traders.
“On Wednesday night, the burglary struck copper shop of Abdur Rehman Bhat, at Jamia Chowk and decamped with copper items worth Rs 50,000. When we protested, police used batons on us,” Firdous Ahmed, a trader said.
Terming the police action unwarranted, Ahmed said that the traders were peacefully protesting and demanding an action to end the rampant burglaries in the marketplace.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman denied that police used force to disperse protesting traders.
“We have taken cognizance of the theft cases and are investigating the matter,” he said.