Pulwama: At least five persons including the elder brother of slain Hizb commander Naseer Pandith, were arrested and several others beaten by government forces during a cordon and search operation in Karimabad village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
As per locals cordon-and-search-operation was started in Kareemabad village during wee hours on Saturday and the forces barged into houses thrashing people mainly youth.
“During the 4-hour long cordon and search operation from 3 am to 7 am, people were treated like ‘cattle’. They were beaten up and even some youth were kept in cold water for hours” eye-witnesses said.
They said that at least five youths were arrested including elder brother of slain Hizb commander Naseer Pandit.
As per sources the persons who were arrested include elder brother of Naseer Pandit identified as Babar Ahmad Pandit, Zubair Ahmad Pandit, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, Rafi Abdullah Pandit and Mehrajudin Sheikh
They said people were targeted in response to the previous incident when youth confronted army Patrolling Party and attacked it when they tried to enter the village.
On contacting senior superintendent of Police district Pulwama Aslam Choudary he confirmed that five persons have been arrested in Karimabad village during search operation. He said that the arrested people are ‘habitual’ of stone pelting.
When asked about thrashing of locals by the forces, he said: “yes there are such reports however as per my information these allegations are wrong.”
“I am sending a senior police officer to the spot to check as to what extent these allegations are correct”, he added.
Meanwhile, a CASO was started by government forces in seven villages of Tral area.
Official sources said that the operation was launched by the 42 RR and Tral police after militant movement was detected in the area.
He added that operation was launched in villages, including Aripal, Handoora, Wagad, Darganaie Gund, Satura, Gadpora and Youngwani villages.
“Door to door searches were conducted in the area where militants were believed to have taken refuge”, sources said.
They added that all entry and exit points to and from the area were sealed by the forces and a tight vigil was also ensured.