Srinagar: A retired army Captain and a physically challenged teenager were among seven people detained by police during nocturnal raids in Hajin township of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
A police team led by senior officials conducted overnight raids in Bon Mohalla, Danger Mohalla, Paribal, Parray Mohalla, Kochak Mohallla, Meer Mohalla, Hajam Mohalla and other localities of the volatile Hajin township and detained seven people, including the elderly parents of two alleged stone pelters, locals told Kashmir Reader on Monday.
The police allegedly went berserk after failing to arrest other youth wanted for stone pelting, the locals said.
The detainees were identified as Ghulam Mohammad Parray, Ghulam Mohammad Hakeem, Mohammad Sultan Parray, Showkat Ahmed Dar, Yawar Ahmad, Parvez Ahmad, and Nisar Ahmad. Nisar, 16, is physically challenged while Hakeem, a retired Army captain, was picked up for his son Showkat.
Ghulam Mohammad, of Danger Mohalla, was arrested for his son Danish. Mohammad Sultan Parray, a retired medical assistant, was allegedly picked up for treating an injured youth at his clinic.
“A team of cops knocked at our gate around 1:30 am and grabbed my father. They abused and thrashed him with jackboots for treating the injured youth. When my sisters tried to save their father, the cops dragged one of them and slapped another. I could do nothing but hide behind the wall and watch their tyranny,” Mohammad Sultan’s son, Javed, who works as an inspector in the Health Department, told Kashmir Reader.
Javed said the cops victimized his father for treating the youth who had suffered injuries in the clashes. He said the cops also damaged their property before leaving.
“The front and rare wind screen of my car was smashed into pieces. The cops also damaged windowpanes of our house. This is height of terrorism,” he said, adding “We have to treat every patient irrespective of his political affiliation or religion. What was my father’s sin that landed him behind the bars in old age?”
Showkat, son of the former army officer Hakeem, said that besides thrashing his father, the police also used batons to deal with his mother when she offered stiff resistance to her husband’s arrest.
“The cops had broken down windowpanes to barge into our house. They had pounced upon my father and thrashed him mercilessly,” Showkat said. The police, he said, rang him up on Monday afternoon and asked him to surrender to ensure his father’s release.
“The officer told me that he has orders from the higher ups to arrest the youth ahead of polls,” he said.
According to the locals, at least two dozen people have been rounded up by police since the crackdown began on the alleged stone pelters after the killing of teenager Farhat Ahmad Dar in firing by paramilitary forces on March 14.
“The arrest of elderly men is atrocious and outrageous. Nowhere in this world fathers are picked up for the deeds of their children,” Mohammad Mubarak, an elderly man, said.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Bandipora, Shah Faisal told Kashmir Reader that as “preventive measures, some arrests might have been made.” However, he said, he has to check if some elderly men have been detained against their wards.
Meanwhile, a shutdown was observed in Hajin town to protest the arrest of the elderly men and youth.