KhudwaNI (KULGAM): Government forces told commuters on Anantnag-Kulgam road to disembark from vehicles and walk for an identification parade at Khudwani on Thursday. The scenes of people walking in queues on the road recalled one of the most prevalent forms of public humiliation during the 1990s in Kashmir.
Private vehicles, bikes and every form of transport were rigorously frisked at the highway underpass near SKUAST campus at Khudwani. The exercise started early morning and continued throughout the day, despite street clashes breaking out in protest in the late morning hours.
As per local sources, some youths became agitated at the humiliation that elderly persons and women faced at the “check point”. The youths hurled stones at the government forces, who fired some aerial shots in retaliation.
Local sources said that amid a complete shutdown in the area against the killing of a civilian in Shopian on Wednesday, the government forces installed a barricade at the underpass and stopped every vehicle for checking.
“The commuters travelling in public transport were asked to disembark and walk for some hundred meters,” the sources said, adding that no concessions were made for either the women or the elderly.
The local sources told Kashmir Reader that IDs were checked and belongings of people were thoroughly frisked on the spot.
“I had to go to Anantnag. I avoided the route and took a longer one to avoid an altercation with the forces,” a local youth told Kashmir Reader. “But everyone could not do that, and had to face humiliation at the hands of the forces.”
Kulgam Superintendent of Police Harmeet Singh said that everything would be alright in the area within eight to ten days. “Allah will make everything fine. Just give me eight to ten days,” said Singh, who has recently taken over as SP Kulgam