SHOPIAN: Army soldiers allegedly vandalised another Shopian village past Sunday midnight, smashing parked vehicles, ransacking residential houses and three mosques, and beating up villagers. Residents of Kanipora village said that army soldiers from the 44 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) camp in Chowgam attacked the village. Mohmmad Akbar Lone, 50, told Kashmir Reader that about 20 army soldiers barged into his house at 1:30amand beat up every single inmate. They also smashed the kitchen’s window panes and other household goods, he said.
Another Kanipora resident, Abdul Razzak said that the soldiers ransacked his house and beat his family members. “They (army) broke our gate, the main entrance door, and beat us for about 30 minutes. My daughter-in-law Tawheeda and son Farooq Ahmad have been left injured,” he said.
Irshad Ahmad Lone, 30, said the army soldiers dragged him out of his house and beat him with canes and metal rods. “They were carrying swords and metal rods, with which they beat us and damaged our property,” he said.
Shameema Akhter, 38, said, “We were sleeping when at about 1:30am the army broke our front door and barged into our house. We ran to the second storey of our house to hide, but they came there and dragged me and my daughter to the courtyard, where they beat us. My husband was not at home. The soldiers tried to throw my daughter from the veranda of the second floor. Her arm has been left fractured.”
An elderly man from the village who lives beside a mosque, said that soldiers broke the windows of the mosque and tore the religious books. As many as 12 persons, including women, were injured by the soldiers, he said.
Locals also alleged that army soldiers were routinely mocking and harassing them. Locals said that the soldiers unnecessarily check their identity cards and mobile phones.
Clashes were reported in the village on the death anniversary of Burhan Wani. Government troops were said to have taken identity cards and mobile phones of several youths in the village.
Kanipora residents said that 30 vehicles were damaged by the army soldiers in the Sunday night attack.
Srinagar-based army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia was not available for his comments. His mobile phone was switched off when this reported tried calling him.