Anantnag: Army soldiers dragged around the village a local shopkeeper after tying him with a rope, and beat him up ruthlessly, late Monday evening in Pastuna area of Tral, the shopkeeper’s family member alleged.
The injured shopkeeper, identified as Bashir Ahmad Hajam, son of Abdul Khaliq, resident of Pastuna, was first taken to Sub-District Hospital Tral and then to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar for treatment of his severe injuries, the family member told Kashmir Reader.
The Block Medical Officer (BMO) of Tral, Dr Bashir Ahmad, said he did see a patient on Tuesday morning about whom doctors said that he was beaten up by the army. “I was leaving for a meeting. A doctor told me that the man was beaten by the army,” the BMO said.
Asked if he could confirm the details about the patient, the BMO said, “Maybe in the morning, not now.”
The family member of Bashir Hajam, requesting anonymity, said that army soldiers caught hold of Bashir near his house and then thrashed him ruthlessly, inflicting multiple injuries on him. The army soldiers were conducting a cordon and search operation in the area on Monday evening.
“They tied him with a rope and dragged him around the village. His screams caught our attention and of some neighbouring people,” he said.
He said they had a tough time rescuing him from the army men, who kept pounding him left, right and centre.
Hajam was taken home on Monday evening, and not to a hospital, as the army operation in the area was still on and family members feared the army men patrolling their village, he said.
“In wee hours of morning, his condition started to deteriorate and we took him to SDH Tral,” the family member said, adding that Hajam was referred to SMHS Hospital in Srinagar as his condition kept worsening.
Srinagar-based army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told Kashmir Reader that the allegations were false. “Our men have beaten no civilian,” Kalia said.
SSP Awantipora Zahid Malik did not attend phone calls and did not answer the text message sent by this reporter.