Bandipora: At least two civilians were injured in northern Kashmir’s Bandipora district in clashes during cordon and search operation (CASO) Monday while as local residents alleged that the government forces set afire the stacks of dried grass.
Local sources revealed to the Kashmir Reader that intense protests erupted soon after soldiers from Indian army’s 13 RR, cops from J&K police’s special operations group (SOG) and CRPF personnel of 45 battalion launched CASO in Bon Mohalla Hajin.
“Scores of people came out on roads against the presence of government forces in the area,” sources said. “Protests erupted and government forces fired pellets injuring two ladies.” They added that the injured ladies were treated at a local health facility.
The sources further informed that the government forces called off the CASO soon after the intensity of protests increased.
“The forces entered our house when no one was present there,” said a local from Syed Mohalla of the restive town who insisted to remain anonymous. “They broke the window panes and even set afire stacks of dry grass which was lying besides our house,” he further alleged.
Sources in the Hajin community health centre confirmed that at least three civilians were hit by pellets who were given treatment and discharged. “They were hit by pellets in, arms and shoulders,” sources said.
A security official posted in the area said: “We had reports of presence of militants in the area but now the CASO has been called off as no contact was established.”
The official claimed that the government forces neither fired pellets nor set afire any grass.
“The stone pelters have set ablaze the grass as there might be personal reasons involved,” he alleged.