Hajin: Cops in civvies face public wrath; car set afire

Srinagar: Angry protesters on Saturday thrashed a police party and set ablaze their car when they tried to arrest a pro-freedom leader in Hajin town of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district which is on boil since the killing of a teenager by government forces last month.
Reports said a police team in civvies appeared in Syed Mohalla of Hajin town around 3:45 pm in an Alto car and tried to arrest Mohammad Hamidullah Parray, tehsil president of Syed Ali Geelani’s Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
The police team faced stiff resistance from the youth and the womenfolk, who came out in large numbers. The people also caught two cops and allegedly thrashed them. Somehow, the cops managed to flee from the spot leaving their vehicle behind.
“The vehicle’s windscreens were smashed by the protesters who were raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Later, the car was set on fire,” Farooq Ahmad, a local, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that an Army team also retreated from the area after witnessing strong protests by the locals. Earlier in the day, Ahmad said, a police team had arrested a youth identified as Ishfaq Ahmad, son of Ghulam Qadir Meer, of Meer Mohalla from the main market.
“However, he was later let off. Around six people, including two Muslim League activists have been arrested since last week in a spate of raids,” he added.
Another local, Mushtaq Ahmed, said the cops have adopted a new strategy to take on the stone pelters in the backdrop of the killing of a teenager Farhat Ahmad Dar by government forces in Hajin last month. The cops remain in civvies and travel in private vehicles to the places where they plan to conduct raids.
“The cops appear at a selected place, keep a watch over the subject, and bundle him into their car. On Friday only, Mohammad Asadullah Parray was arrested by cops in civvies. Last time, he had managed to give slip to the cops,” Ahmed said.
He said a series of raids conducted by policemen have alerted the youth, who keep a close eye on every vehicle that passes by.
Police sources told Kashmir Reader that the raids are being carried out to arrest the youth involved in the stone pelting protests that followed the killing of Farhat Ahmad Dar by the forces on March 14.
“The youth are being arrested on the basis of video evidence. At the same time, police ensures that the innocents don’t suffer,” sources added.
A police official confirmed that a group of people attacked a police team when they went to arrest a man from Hajin town.
“The mob hurled stones at the police and also set ablaze a car,” the official added.