‘Saved by locals after raising alarm’
KHAG, BUDGAM: A police constable was beaten up by local people in Khag town in central Kashmir’s Budgam district late Monday night while three of his associates managed to escape after they allegedly attempted to lynch a local tailor.
Narrating the incident, Reyaz Ahmad Beigh, son of Sonaullah Beigh, said “On Monday at around 8:15 pm, I was returning after finishing my work at the tailoring shop in the main market, almost half a kilometre from my home.
“I usually return at around 8:30 pm, but on that day my wife was ailing, so I decided to shut the shop early and return home,” he said.
He added, “I had two bags in my hands, I was carrying clothes, an iron and scissors in both. In addition to this, I bought a syrup bottle and fruits for my home, which I had kept in those very bags.
“While making my way towards my home and reaching next to the block office Khag, I saw a man in civvies standing at the end of the road. As I walked on, he signalled to someone. I stopped and thought that he was perhaps asking for something.
“But he did not say anything,” Reyaz continued, “so I left the spot and kept walking towards home. A few steps ahead, another man was standing, wearing a red T-shirt. Next to him, I now saw a man running towards me who then caught me by the throat, without saying anything.
“I was frightened and was trembling. The three men who were behind me also came and caught hold of me. They snatched my bags and said you are carrying wine in them.
“I could tell that all four were police personnel, one of whom I identified as Mohammad Jabbar Khan, popularly known as JK in Khag town.
“I told him why are you doing this with me? You know me personally and you get your clothes stitched at my shop as well. But they did not listen at all and took out the scissors from my bag and tried to lynch me.
“I felt helpless and raised a hue and cry. In the meantime, my friend whom I had met a minute before came to my aid. Later, hundreds of people joined him in my rescue,” Reyaz added.
All the policemen were in civvies and were travelling in a private Alto car. “When I raised an alarm, JK, the cop, did not flee while three of his associates managed to escape from the spot.
“The people then caught hold of him and thrashed him before my father came and protected him from them.”
An eyewitness, Ovais Ahmad Mir, said that had he not have raised the alarm, he would simply have been stabbed like people are being stabbed in Hajin these days.
Following the incident, panic gripped the area after announcements were made on loudspeakers asking people to come out of their homes for rescue.
Another local, who identified himself as Ghulam Mohammad Dar, said that if any incident happened in the area hereafter, the police would be responsible for that.
The policeman and the victim were both taken to the police station after SDPO Magam Showkat Ahmad reached there to investigate the case.
The locals, however, said that the police personnel are deliberately creating fear among the people by venturing out in civvies for the whole day and in the late hours as well.
“We urge the deputy commissioner to intervene in this case so that this brutality won’t happen hereafter,” the locals said.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a statement issued here denied the tailor’s allegations.
In a handout issued here on Tuesday morning, an official spokesman said that Khag police station had established a checkpoint at Poshkar crossing after receiving an input about the clandestine transport of a banned contraband substance.
“Vehicles and persons moving around suspiciously were being checked for any contraband. A man carrying a bag in suspicious circumstances was stopped for checking. He began shouting. That attracted attention of passersby,” the spokesman said.
“However, the alert policemen clarified about the purpose of checking and sought the cooperation of people around who later reciprocated cordially and the matter was disposed of,” the spokesman added.