SHOPIAN: Family members of six militants were arrested and their homes raided and property vandalised by government forces on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday in Shopian villages, the families said.
The families whose homes were vandalised and family members arrested include those of cop-turned-militant Syed Naved of Nazneenpora, Adil Ahmad Malik and Umar Nazir of Maligund village, Zubair Ahmad Wani of Turkwangam, Obaid Ahmad Malla of Babekhider-Trenz, and Yawar Ahmad Itoo of Safnagri village.
The mother of Syed Naved of Nazneenpora village told Kashmir Reader that forces entered her house in the night and damaged the entire kitchen and arrested her husband, Syed Mushtaq Ahmad.
Family members of Adil Ahmad Malik of Malikgund village told Kashmir Reader that at midnight, men from the police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) barged into their house and thrashed inmates, including the sister and the mother of Adil. “They shouted from outside to open the door. When we did so, at least 12 armed men came in and started thrashing us. They smashed our windowpanes and mixed up all the food material. They arrested my son, Zakir Ahmad, and his friend Hilal Ahmad Wani,” Nazir Ahmad Malik, father of Adil, said.
The family of another militant, Umar Nazir, alleged that government forces forcibly barged into their house and smashed windowpanes, television and scanner, and utensils. “Besides damaging property, they arrested my two sons in the middle of the night,” Nazir Ahmad Malik, father of Umar Nazir, said.
At Babekhider-Trenz village, the family of Obaid Malla alleged that police vandalised their property including washing machine, refrigerator, inverter and windowpanes. “They abused us in the middle of the night and broke every single thing which came in their way. They arrested my husband and two sons,” the mother of Obaid Malla said.
At Turkwangam village, family members of Zubair Ahmad said that forces vandalised their property and arrested Zubair’s father, brother and a guest.
“They (policemen) barged into our house and damaged every single utensil, windowpanes and put water into the food materials which they then threw upon our clothes and beds. It seemed they were drunk. They didn’t spare anything. They left no single utensil for us to cook in. They were not humans,” the mother of Zubair said.
At Safnagri village, family members of Yawar Ahmad Itoo said their property was damaged in the middle of the night. “Forces vandalised our windowpanes, vehicles, and our lights, utensils and other household stuff. Other than this, they arrested my sons,” the father of the militant said.
The raids and vandalism has come on the heels of the killing of a former sarpanch and his house being set ablaze in Homhuna village. A militant, Showkat Falahi, was also killed during the attack on the former sarpanch.
Senior Superintendent of Police Shopian, SA Dinkar, told Kashmir Reader that searches were conducted in the militants’ houses and some of their family members were brought for questioning regarding the incident of arson of the former sarpanch’s house. “I don’t have any information regarding ransacking or vandalism of their houses,” he said.
Dinkar said, “questioning of family members of militants is going on and we will release them after its completed”.
In May and June this year, around 15 villages in Shopian were assaulted and property of civilians was vandalised by government forces in night raids. There was massive outrage over the assaults in the villages and human rights organisations and resistance leaders condemned the attacks.