PULWAMA: Five persons were arrested in Pulwama village during a nocturnal crackdown on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. Locals allege that dozens of persons were assaulted by government forces in the middle of the night.
The night cordon and search operation (CASO), which was launched after inputs about the presence of militants in Karimabad village, lasted for more than four hours amid stone pelting, police said.
Local sources said that at around 3 am, a joint team of forces cordoned the village and conducted searches in Karimabad. They added that forces beat dozens of persons during the CASO and arrested five. The arrested persons were identified as Zubair Ahmad Pandit, Babar Ahmad Pandit, Rafi Abdullah Pandit, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat and Mehrajuddin Sheikh.
Villagers alleged that the forces assaulted whosoever came their way. “They beat dozens of us during the night and arrested several,” a local said. They also allege that the forces vandalised private property.
A local who wished not be named said that the forces also thrashed the family members of slain militant Naseer Ahmad Pandith.
Senior Superintendent of Police Pulwama Muhammad Aslam Choudhary told Kashmir Reader, “Whenever we used to conduct search operations in Karimabad village, whether in day or night, these miscreants used to pelt stones on forces.
“Today the same thing happened – when we were about to call off the operation, these miscreants resorted to intense stone pelting. Five persons were caught red-handed by the army and they handed them to police.”
He added that no one was beaten during the CASO.
“If there is any matter about damage of property, we will verify that,” he added.