Cleric, father in law ‘ruthlessly beaten’ in Shopain

Cleric, father in law ‘ruthlessly beaten’ in Shopain
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Say forces claimed hideout in the house

Shopian: A cleric and his father-in-law, who is also a cleric, were allegedly assaulted, ruthlessly, as forces raided their house in Wathoo village of Shopain district on Friday.
In a video released on social media, Mufti Sheeraz, a popular cleric from Arihal village of Pulwama district, said that he had gone to his in-laws home at Wathoo to see his wife and two children – a 5-year old and a six-month old- when the army raided the house, and ruthlessly beat him and his father-in-law.
The two injured men are admitted in hospitals -Sheeraz at Pulwama hospital and his father-in-law at SMHS Srinagar.
The video widely shared on social media shows both the men have grave injury marks on bodies. They said that none of them is able to stand. Sheeraz, according to locals is a known cleric in area, and often subject to “assault by government forces”.
“I, on Friday evening, went there when my elder son told me (on phone) to come home. I did the same and stayed for night at the in-laws’ home, but army, in the middle of night (3.30 am) raided the house and told us to come out of house, whether young, old or child. They soon told us that they have information of a hideout in the house on which we told them to search the house and I accompanied them to search the house,” Mufti Sheeraz can be heard saying in the video. He said the forces searched every nook and corner of the house, even the shoes but found nothing.
Sheeraz added that when he was accompanying forces to search the house, other troops had assaulted his father-in-law in the courtyard.
“After completing the searches they told me that they were from Ahagam army camp on which I replied that I was recently at Ahagam army camp and the Major there knows me and they told me the same Major is calling you outside the courtyard,” he said in the video.
When he came out he found the said officer there.
“The Major told me that ‘I was expecting to meet you again but not here’ and then they took me to the road and removed my clothes and started assaulting me and my father-in-law while telling us to lie on the road,” he said. He said at least six persons were beating them with weapons.
“To stop me from crying, troops put snow in my mouth. After 25 minutes of assault they made us to turn with kicks and they climbed on my stomach and were beating my head, with kicks and then with gun buts. They beat us till the Fajr Adhan and alleged that there were some men in our house who took dinner there. But that was not true at all. They also alleged that someone among us led the absentia funeral prayers of a militant but that too was not the case. Then they left us at the gate of the house,” Sheeraz said adding that his mobile phone, purse containing ATM cards, license and other documents were snatched by forces.
Srinagar based Defense Spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia when contacted said that “none of our solider was involved in entering the house, neither assault of these men, nor in any kind of manhandling or vandalism”.