Residents complain to police, army spokesperson rubbishes allegations
Shopian: Army troops on Tuesday night allegedly “terrorised” people of Mashwara village in Shopian district, breaking into their homes late at night and assaulting them, ransacking their household goods, smashing their vehicles and motorbikes. The attack, according to villagers, began at about 11:30pm. Among the dozen persons injured are a retired police officer and a Class X student, villagers said.
Mashwara village is situated along the Keller-Pulwama road. On Wednesday morning, villagers blocked the road in protest and demanded action against the army troops who assaulted civilians and damaged their property.
Muhammad Ayoub Shah, son of the village Numberdar, said that he, too, was beaten savagely by the army. “It was a bizarre event for us. We begged them to at least tell us what was our crime, but they kept beating more and more people and damaged our property,” he said.
Villagers identified the civilians who sustained injuries due to the army assault as Rayees Ahmad Shah, Gowhar Ahmad Shah, Altaf Hussain Shah, Showkat Ahmad Shah, Parvaiz Ahmad Shah, Amir Hussain and Muhammad Ayoub Shah. According to the villagers, all the injured were taken to Rajpora Hospital for treatment.
Medical Officer Pulwama, Dr Jaffar Akhoon, told Kashmir Reader that nine injured persons were brought to Rajpora Hospital who were allegedly beaten by government forces. “Three persons among the nine were referred to SMHS Srinagar for advanced treatment,” he said.
Srinagar-based army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that all the allegations levelled by villagers were baseless. “None of our soliders was involved in any kind of manhandling or damaging of property in the village,” he said.
A senior police officer from Shopian told Kashmir Reader that a delegation of villagers from Mashwara met him today in his office and the police were investigating their complaint.
When asked if police had registered an FIR over the complaint, he refused to comment.
Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned the assault on villagers. In a tweet, he asked, “Is this ‘the more humane face of forces’ that Govt promised people will see at their high-level meeting yesterday? People ruthlessly beaten, homes vandalised in Mashwara village of #Shopian as forces barged into their home late last night. Dozens injured!”