Sopore: At least ten youths were arrested by police in raids conducted Saturday night in Tujjar village in Sopore police district for their alleged involvement in stone-pelting. On Thursday, violent protests broke out in Tujjar village when government forces were conducting a cordon and search operation (CASO). Government forces had to use tear smoke shells after angry protesters pelted them with stones.
Tujjar village has been cordoned twice by government forces in the past five days on “specific information of presence of militants in the village”, but both times no trace of militants was found.
According to locals, cops swooped on Tujjar village, on the outskirts of Sopore town, in the night and arrested at least ten youths from their homes in Pothpura, Batlipora and Shiekhpora localities.
A local who did not wish to be identified told Kashmir Reader that government forces raided the village at midnight and also broke window panes and doors of many houses in the village.
SSP Sopore Javid Iqbal confirmed that many youths had been arrested by police from Tujjar village. “These boys were arrested on basis of video evidence. They had indulged in stone-pelting,” he said.
The families of the detained youths rubbished allegations that their children were involved in stone-pelting.
Meanwhile, AIP president and MLA from Langate constituency, Sheikh Abdul Rashid popularly known as Engineer Rashid, visited Tujjar village in the morning and appealed to Sopore police to release the arrested youth.
Addressing a gathering in the village, Er Rasheed said that New Delhi had lost the moral battle and was now using men in uniform to destroy the self-respect and will of the people.
“What PM Narendra Modi said on Independence Day speech is losing relevance as men in uniform are leaving no stone unturned to humiliate and harm unarmed citizens. The people of Kashmir from north to south are being targeted for supporting the resistance movement and forces despite knowing that Kashmiris want a resolution without violence are provoking them. The claims of tolerance made by the state police chief have been proven wrong and the unfortunate part is that security agencies have become habitual of fabricating stories to justify their high-handedness,” Rasheed said.
Er Rasheed reminded local police that they, too, were sons of the soil and would have to pay for their illegal terrorising acts sooner or later. He appealed to masses not to lose hope and remain united as the “state terrorism” had to end one day.
Er Rasheed asked the Governor’s administration to inquire into why men in uniform vandalised property, broke doors and windows and vehicles in Tujjar area, besides humiliating and beating up locals irrespective of their gender and age.