Dar-ul-Uloom Sopore accuses army of vandalizing property

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Sopore: Soldiers from 22 Rashtriya Rifles based in Sopore allegedly ransacked a reputed seminary in Sopore and harassed the staff.
Officials of the Dar-ul-Uloom Sopore, which boasts of hundreds of students and scholars from several areas of northern Kashmir, told Kashmir Reader that soldiers barged into the seminary in the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday and vandalized the place.
“We told them that this is a place of religious study and winter break is on but the soldiers didn’t listen to us. Instead, they were abusive and went about damaging the property. Few students present at the seminary were also harassed,” the Dar-ul-Uloom officials alleged.
They said that 11:30 pm the soldiers forced their way inside the seminary located at Mehrajpora locality in Sopore.
“They vandalized the campus even as we informed them that the seminary is on a winter break and there is no one here except few staff members and students. They left around 3:30 am. and we were all night awake. This is grossly inappropriate and we hope authorities take note of this interference by the army in centres of religious education,” they added.
Superintendent of Police Sopore Harmeet Singh, told Kashmir Reader that no such report has been brought to his notice. Srinagar based defence spokesperson Col. Rajesh Kalia also denied the report and termed it baseless.
“Neither any property was vandalized nor destroyed in the institution at Sopore,”, Col Kalia said.
It is for the second time during this month that army has been accused of damaging public property in Sopore. Earlier this month residents of Kaushal Matoo Mohalla and the families of few active militants alleged that soldiers entered the locality and damaged properties. Irate residents have appealed authorities to look into the matter.