House owner arrested
Anantnag: Police on Saturday dismantled a sewage trench at a house in Khiram area of Anantnag district, calling it a hideout in making, and detained the house owner along with three other people from the locality.
Two of the four arrested were released, but the house owner – a father of three girls – and another youth were still under detention.
The family said the police personnel cordoned off the Durpora locality of Khiram on Saturday midnight and raided the house of Showkat Ahmad Lone, a baker by profession. They alleged that the policemen ransacked the house before dismantling the sewage pit.
“They came and started ransacking the house. My daughters were scared and as they cried their mouths were muffled by the police men,” Shaada Begum, Lone’s wife told Kashmir Reader.
She said that her husband was made to dismantle portions of the trench after which the men in uniform also dismantled the other portions.
“They accused us of giving food to militants. We are very poor and hardly manage to keep our own family fed. How will we feed militants?” Shaada Begum asked. She said that she and her husband kept pleading and crying that it was a sewage trench but the police personnel were not ready to listen.
“After they were done with the vandalism, they caught hold of my husband and thrashed him ruthlessly,” Shaada Begum said adding that they took Showkat along, as they left. “He was not even allowed to dress properly. He is virtually in his underwear,” she said, “I have not been allowed to meet him since, despite repeated visits to the police station,”
The police have also arrested a man and his two sons from the vicinity. The detained were identified as Ghulam Muhammad Lone and his sons Hikmat Lone and Shahid Lone.
Ghulam and Hikmat were released on Sunday but Shahid and Showkat still remain in custody. Shahid’s family has also not been allowed to meet him. The family alleged that police revisited their house the next day and dismantled whatever was left of the sewage trench.
“They smashed the light bulbs first, warned us against coming out and then took away the tin sheets and logs of wood away as well,” Shaada says.
She laments how hard it had been for her and her husband to manage that trench and the tin sheets along with the wood and how it will dent their economic condition further. “I am a mother of three daughters and have nowhere to go. They visit my house after my detaining my husband and creating havoc at our house. If this is not harassment, what is?” Shaada told Kashmir Reader.
DSP operations, Shami Kumar told Kashmir Reader that the trench was a hideout in making. “They were making the hideout. It was not completed yet,” Kumar said.
Asked with the claims of the family members, Kumar advised the reporter to talk to SDPO Bijbehara for further details.
SDPO Bijbehara, Rashid Akbar, did not receive calls made by this reporter.
Kashmir Reader also tried to get in touch with SSP Anantnag, Altaf Khan, who did not pick up multiple calls.