Shopian: Families of an active Lashkar militant and of slain Hizb commander Sameer Tiger alleged on Thursday that government forces set fire to their houses and property during the night.
The family of Sameer Tiger alleged that government forces set fire to their house, heaps of fodder, and four-hundred empty apple boxes in Drabgam village of Pulwama district.
Muhammad Maqbool, father of the slain Sameer Tiger, told Kashmir Reader that government forces in the dead of night set fire to his house and property after sprinkling petrol on it.
“At about 2:45am, we heard noise of some persons moving outside the door of my house. I didn’t let any family members go out. In the meantime, the government forces’ personnel threw petrol on our front door and set fire to it. They also set ablaze our shed which contained 400 empty wooden apple boxes and 500 heaps of fodder for our animals,” Mohammad Maqbool said.
He added that his family found outside the house petrol bottles and masks that the government forces’ personnel had put on their faces.
Maqbool asked why he was being targeted even after the killing of his militant son. “Continued harassment and damaging our property has become routine for the government forces,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Pulwama, Chandan Kohli, did not respond to phone calls from this reporter.
In a similar incident at Maldair village of Shopian district, unknown persons on Wednesday night tried to set ablaze the house of an active militant. Locals alleged that the government forces had done so.
Locals told Kashmir Reader that the incident took place at about 3am. “When flames appeared in the house of Ghulam Mohammad Paul, the father of (active militant) Adil Ahmad, we rushed there and doused the flames,” locals said.
Adil is an active Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant, they said. Witnesses said that the house had suffered partial damage in the arson.
Locals alleged that a vehicle of the government forces had arrived in the village some 10 minutes before the flames appeared at the house of Ghulam Muhammad.
Last month, two houses of active militants were set ablaze at night in Shopian district, allegedly by government forces, according to the families. The two houses belonged to cop-turned militant Syed Naveed of Nazneenpora village, and Shahjahan Ahmad Mir of Amshipora village.
A senior police officer told Kashmir Reader that police have taken cognizance of the incidents and started an investigation. “We have recorded their (families’) statement and we are investigating the case,” he said.