Budgam: Scores of people including a woman were injured in police action on protestors in Takipora village of Budgam district in wee hours on Saturday.
The locals said that in the early hours police resorted to indiscriminate lathi charge and massive tear gas shelling after they came in rescue of a tipper driver who was “being beaten mercilessly” by policemen.
They said that after the morning prayers residents heard a sound of what seemed like an accident.
“We rushed outside to see what has happened and saw that a vehicle (tipper carrying soil) has collided with the wall. When we went close to the spot what we saw was that a man was beaten by the policemen ruthlessly. We could not tolerate and asked for his release. But police did not listen to our pleas and continued to thrash him to pulp,” an eyewitness said.
“Following the verbal brawl between police and the locals clashes began in early hours,” they said adding, youths pelted stones on police who responded with several teargas shells and smashed windowpanes of several houses in the locality.
They added that police thrashed several people including women.
After the clashes, the villagers blocked the Beerwah-Budgam road demanding the transfer of Station Head Officer.
MLA Budgam, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi described the incident as “police highhandedness” and said that police was “trampling” law and has resorted to “hooliganism”.
Police issued a detailed statement about the incident in the evening.
It said that that police had received anonymous information about illegal excavation of clay at Wahpora Budgam and a police party was deputed to the spot.
The police party on reaching Tekkipora on its way to Wahpora found a tipper laden with clay and stopped it for checking. “In the meantime, another tipper coming from opposite side while turning back hit wall and caused damage to property”.
“An FIR however stands registered with regard to negligent driving and damages to the wall”.
“On reaching Wahpora, information regarding illegally excavated clay was found correct regarding which an FIR stands registered and investigation taken up”.
“Meanwhile, some miscreants and some known criminals involved in FIRs previously were reported to have blocked the road at Tekkipora affecting movement of common people”.
“On this a police party was deputed to the spot. As soon as the police party reached the spot, miscreants hurled stones and rocks on the police in which two police official suffered injury who has been referred to hospital for treatment”.
“The police party fired a few shells to ensure tactical withdrawal since attempts to persuade people didn’t yield result and ceased despite incessant effort of police”.
“The police tactfully withdrew from the spot to ensure safety of people. FIR into the incident stands lodged and investigation taken up”.
The statement also added that police had previously also booked different illegal operators for illegal excavation of clay and produced them in courts.