Anantnag: Police resorted to tear gas shelling and fired several warning shots after the cavalcade of a senior PDP leader and Rajya Sabha member, Nazir Ahmad Laway was attacked with stones in Bugam village of Kulgam district on Saturday.
The angry youths also set two vehicles that were part of the cavalcade on fire. Eyewitnessess said that as soon as the PDP leader reached the higher secondary school of the village to donate some computers to the institute, scores of youth assembled outside resorted to heavy stone pelting at his cavalcade. The security guards of the parliamentarian and other police officials fired in the air and used tear smoke canisters and escorted him to safety.
However, eyewitnesses said the angry youth later entered the school premises and beat up the teaching staff. “Besides beating several staffers the angry crowd ransacked the school building,” said an eyewitness, adding that the youth were shouting that they don’t want any pro-India politician in the village. The youth torched two vehicles, including a Bolero and a Santro, belonging to two local PDP workers.
Principal of the institution Muzafar Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that soon after the PDP leader reached the school, a large number of youths entered the school premises and attacked the building and the staffers. “We had not invited the parliament member. He was on a visit to the area and on the way decided to visit our school as well. But the youth did not listen and broke the window panes and ransacked the school.” He said the crowd also held many staff members hostage, and they were later rescued by the police.
However, a police officer said the parliament member had already left the school when a group of youths assembled there and beat teachers and set ablaze two vehicles. “The village is politically sensitive and the incident was the outcome of political rivalry in the village,” the police officer said. He said the police had arrested at least three youngsters and efforts were on to nab others.
The village is considered to be ‘highly volatile’. During the last assembly elections, the village recorded zero percent voting.