SHOPIAN: The residents of Meminder village in Shopian say that police was dishonouring a “peace deal” reached with them by continuing with an “arrest spree” despite no stone pelting incidents from the area.
Further, many of the arrested youth, they allege, have been assaulted in custody.
Some months ago, a delegation of 150 villagers from Meminder met Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shopian regarding the continuous nocturnal raids and arrests of youth in stone pelting or law and order cases. The villagers said they reached an agreement with the SSP that neither the villagers will pelt stones nor will police arrest anyone.
However, the villagers say, even though no incident of stone-pelting has taken place since then, the arrests of youths by police continue.
Numberdar Shakeel Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that four more youths have now been summoned by police after four others were released recently, who he added, were beaten up in police custody.
“They were hospitalised after their release from police custody. Now four more have been summoned. One youth from our village is still in police custody,” Ahmad said.
Another resident Rayees Ahmad said that since the killing of Hurriyat leader Tariq Ahmad in the village, there have been no incidents of stone-pelting.
“But the arrests continue despite the village elders having agreed to a peace treaty with police,” he said.
Locals added that the last stone-pelting incident in the village was witnessed five months ago.
They said that village elders strictly told them not to confront the police, “or else they will not go to police or army to plead for their release”.
Last year, the village saw some tragic incidents like the killing of a Hurriyat leader, the death of a child and serious injuries to four children when a shell exploded before them, and the death from cardiac arrest of a militant’s father after he heard rumours about his son slain in an encounter.
Villagers told Kashmir Reader that they really wished to live in peace without any confrontation. More than three people from the village are already in jails under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).
SSP Shopian Sandeep Choudhary did not respond to phone calls and text messages from this reporter.