Aerial firing by army in Shopian village; people allege assault, vandalism

Aerial firing by army in Shopian village; people allege assault, vandalism
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SHOPIAN: People of Wachi village in Shopian said on Thursday that army soldiers fired in the air and assaulted civilians, looted shops, and broke window panes of some houses after an army patrol came under “mild” stone-pelting in their village.
A shopkeeper in Dabalpora locality told Kashmir Reader that when army opened fire in the air, shopkeepers fled from the spot without closing their shops. “Army soldiers came and looted Rs 2 lakh and a cheque worth Rs 40,000 from the shopping complex,” he said.
Other villagers said that the army assaulted several persons, including Ghulam Rasool Bhat and his son Abdul Rouf Bhat. “They suffered bone fractures and were referred to hospital,” a local said.
“A pregnant lady fainted when the soldiers beat her relatives. She was also referred to hospital,” a relative of the lady said.
Residents of Dabalpora locality said that soldiers also ransacked shops and broke window panes of residential houses. “Due to the intense firing we were scared and tried to save our lives. When we returned, we saw our shops ransacked and property looted,” a shopkeeper said.
People said they brought the issue to the notice of station house officer (SHO) Zainapora, who assured them help.
The Zainapora SHO told Kashmir Reader that police were investigating the incident. “There was some stone-pelting in the village and the army restored to aerial firing. Villagers will come here tomorrow and lodge their complaints,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Shopian, AS Dinkar, said that police were ascertaining the facts. “After checking the details I will be able to tell you what happened there,” he said.