CASO in Anantnag areas, youths detained
Mohammad Suhail/ Bilal Habib
Anantnag: Residents of Khaigam village in Rajpora area of Pulwama district have alleged that army soldiers ransacked their houses late on Tuesday night without any provocation. The residents held a protest demonstration on Wednesday and blocked the road towards Chrar-e-Sharif in neighbouring Budgam district.
Army soldiers from a nearby camp entered the village at about 2:30 AM and ransacked personal property worth lakhs, the residents alleged.
“We were sleeping when we felt as if bombs were being dropped on our locality,” a resident of Khaigam said. “The army men without any provocation came and smashed everything that came in their way, including windowpanes and parked cars.”
The residents of the village came out in large numbers and chased the army men who ran back to their camp, locals said.
“They have made it a habit now. Every now and then they come and ransack our houses without any reason,” locals alleged.
Some elders of the village went to meet the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Pulwama on Wednesday. Sources said that he assured the people that their complaints will be taken up with the army authorities.
Kashmir Reader’s calls to DC Pulwama on his mobile number went unanswered.
SSP Pulwama Chaudhary Muhammad Aslam told Kashmir Reader that senior army officers have already been contacted regarding such issues.
“The people have alleged ransacking on part of some army men. We have reached out to the army and an investigation has been taken up. The people also met the Deputy Commissioner today,” Aslam said.
Meanwhile, in Sherbagh area of Anantnag district, at least three youth were detained during a “routine” Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on Wednesday afternoon.
According to reports, large contingents of government troops cordoned off the busy Sherbagh area some time after noonand carried out random searches.
The area remains crowded in the day due to a maternity and children’s hospital being located there. Attendants of many patients come to the Sherbagh park to rest, while others offer prayers in the open mosque inside the park.
Locals said that panic gripped the area when government forces cordoned it off.
“People were frisked and asked to prove their identities,” a local resident said.
Local sources said that three to four youth were taken away by the government forces.
SSP Anantnag Altaf Khan told Kashmir Reader that it was a routine cordon and search operation. “Yes, some boys were detained for questioning but I believe they must have been released by now,” Khan said.
Another such CASO was launched later in the evening in Nai Basti area of the town, along the Khannabal-Pahalgam road.
“That, too, has ended now,” Khan said.