Matter being looked into, says army; Shah Faesal hopes AFSPA won’t save the culprits
Anantnag: A government official of the rank of Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and his subordinates were thrashed, held at gunpoint, and humiliated allegedly by army men near Qazigund along the National Highway-44 on Tuesday morning.
The SDM, Ghulam Rasool Wani, posted in Dooru area of Anantnag, was on duty and going to meet Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag in Vessu area of Qazigund when the incident took place at about 10:30 AM.
Talking to Kashmir Reader about the incident, Wani said he was called by DC Anantnag to Vessu and when he was on the way he was stopped by army at three places before the actual incident took place.
“At Dalwach crossing they signalled us to stop again. We did, despite the fact that there was no movement of convoy in the area at that time,” Wani said.
He said that all of a sudden, one of the army men started smashing the glasses of his official vehicle and dragged the driver out to thrash him.
“I was in disbelief because I was travelling in a government vehicle which had a huge sign announcing my designation on the front windshield,” Wani said.
Wani, seeing his driver being thrashed, disembarked from the vehicle and tried to save him.
“But they held me instead and dragged me by my collar. They kept beating me. In the meantime they brought my other employees out of the vehicle and started thrashing them as well,” Wani said.
He said that they were held hostage by the army men and their phones were snatched at gunpoint. “They smashed our phones as well,” Wani said.
The SDM and his employees somehow managed to put across a message to the DC office in Anantnag, following which, as per the SDM, Anantnag Deputy Commissioner Khalid Jahangir visited the spot and saved them.
Jahangir, while talking to Kashmir Reader, said that he was awaiting a detailed report by his SDM so that further course of action could be decided.
“The details will be shared with the media after that,” the DC said.
The army also said that the matter was being looked into. “We are ascertaining the facts,” Srinagar-based defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.
IAS officer-turned-politician Shah Faesal expressed shock over the incident. “News of physical assault on SDM Duroo by Army is very shocking. If true, DC/SSP Anantnag should immediately register an FIR and arrest the erring personnel,” Faesal said.
He further hoped that AFSPA won’t come in the way of charges being framed under IPC/RPC against the army men.