Army-police faceoff: JCO, soldier released

Srinagar: A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and a soldier from Indian army’s High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) were released Saturday, within 24-hours of their arrest by police in connection with the case involving beating of cops inside a police station in the picturesque Sonmarg meadow of Ganderbal district.
At-least three cops sustained wounds in the incident which had triggered angry protests from the policemen, promoting the top brass to file a case (FIR no 3/20 14 under sections under sections 307, 357, 392, 147, 148. 427 RPC) against the soldiers and arrest the duo.
Quoting official sources, a local news agency GNS said that JCO S D Lengoo (E910178) and Sepoy Harpreet Singh (15341349) were released after they were reportedly found not involved in the beating of policemen.
CNS, another local news agency, reported that the duo was released after army assured police that all the ‘guilty’ army personnel would surrender before it in due course of time.
On Friday, a scuffle broke out when a convoy of HAWS was stopped by police near Sonamarg police station to pave way for the traffic that was coming from the opposite side, according to reports.
Two soldiers came down of their vehicles and entered into a verbal dual with the cops manning the barrier. The soldiers were furious and questioned the cops for stopping their vehicles.
The situation took an ugly turn when the soldiers pounced upon the policemen and thrashed them in full public view. Three policemen, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector were injured by the soldiers.
Later they barged inside nearby police station and allegedly went on rampage. With empty cartridges found inside the police stations, it is suspected that rampaging army men even had opened fire.
Superintendent of Police Ganderbal, Shahid Mehraj told GNS that few empty cartridges were found inside police station. “Investigations are on and so far no arrests have been made,” he said.
Police has also seized four army vehicles including a bus (06P189711) and a Swaraj Mazda (03D1516148) from HAWS.
Late Friday night, as reported, a high level meeting of army and police was held at the Police Station Sonamarg to discuss the issue. The meeting was attended by army’s 15 Corps Commander and senior police officials.
Army’s Srinagar based spokesman Lt Col NN Joshi said army will take strict action against their men if found guilty.
“A close liaison is being maintained with police and the matter is being investigated jointly,” Joshi had said.