TURKWANGAM (SHOPIAN): Army soldiers revisited Turkwangam in the middle of the night to inflict more injuries and damage and humiliation on a village they had attacked just three nights before. Twenty-five persons have been reported to be injured, at least 10 of them suffering fractures in their legs and arms, in the brutal assault carried out by soldiers past Friday midnight.
Fayaz Ahmad Lone, a resident of the village, told Kashmir Reader that at least 20 army soldiers barged into his house at 2am. He said they assaulted every family member who was inside the house. “They beat us indiscriminately,” he said. “My wife and my sister-in-law have fractures in their arm and leg. The soldiers hammered me on the head with gun butts. They beat my wife and sister-in-law with metal rods and gun butts.”
Seven women from the village had fractures or severe injuries due to the assault. A 50-year-old woman was seen crying from the pain of her injuries.
Family members of Ghulam Hassan Dar told Kashmir Reader that about 30 soldiers barged into their house and beat them for an hour. “They left two of my sons with fractures. They used gun butts and metal rods to beat us. We cried for help but no one could come, as the forces had laid a siege outside our house,” said the wife of Ghulam Hassan.
Family members of Abdul Aziz Lone said that the soldiers broke down the front door of their house. The soldiers beat up and harassed the women when they tried to rescue the males, the family said. A girl from the family said, “One of the soldiers put two of his fingers into my nose and tried to kill me by suffocating my breath.”
A group of elderly people from the village said that there isn’t anybody in the world to punish the army. “Where can we go, what is our crime? Were we born to face the frustration of the army in this lawless land, where anyone can enter our houses and beat us?” lamented 70-year-old Abdul Rasheed.
Jameela Banoo, 40, wife of Gulzar Ahmad Lone, said that 20 soldiers broke down the front door of her house and beat up her family. “About 20 troopers entered our house and beat us. My two sons have severe injuries,” she said and began to cry.
The soldiers also smashed vehicles parked on the streets or in the courtyards of houses. Villagers said that several residential houses were ransacked and damaged by the soldiers.
According to the villagers, several people have been referred to Srinagar hospitals for treatment of their injuries and bone fractures. This could not be verified and it was not clear which person had been referred to which hospital.
Three nights before this assault, army soldiers had attacked Turkwangam village after Monday midnight, breaking into some 40 houses and severely beating up their inmates, leaving many of them with fractures. The soldiers also vandalised houses and vehicles. So terrified were some villagers that several of them fled the village in the middle of night when they heard that soldiers had arrived in the village once again.
Defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia did not respond to repeated calls.