Nearly 20 Rounded Up In Old City Raids

“Fathers Picked Up For Sons, Families Beaten”

SRINAGAR (ONS) – Over a score of youth were rounded up by the police in nocturnal raids in the old city on Tuesday on charges of stone-pelting, reports said.

Locals took to the streets during the night, accusing the police of harassment, ransacking and violence, even as many localities remained shut down in protest today.

The police denied the allegations but admitted having picked having picked up “some youth” for “questioning.”

Sources said that the raids were conducted in the Rang Hamaam, Pandaan, Khwaja Bazaar, Nauhatta, Hawal, and Gojwara areas.

Some of those taken away were identified as Qaisar Ahmad, Muzzammil Ahangar, Sahil Shabir Bhat, and Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi.

Class 9 student, Juwaiz Hussain Khan of Gojwara, whom also the police had been looking for, was not found at home, and the police picked up his father Muhammad Hussain.

Similarly, the police took away elderly Ghulam Qadir Sheikh when it failed to lay hands on his trader son, Sarfaraz.

Locals said that they had been bundled out of homes in the dead of a cold night, and the police had ransacked their homes, besides beating up inmates.

Sheikh’s physically disabled son Sajjad told the KNS that the police had knocked at the door of his house at around midnight, and when his aging mother answered the door, asked for his brother Sarfaraz.

“When she told them that he was in Delhi on business, the police went berserk and began smashing doors, windows and household goods,” Sajjad said.

“They pulled out my aging father from his bed, and dragged him away,” he said. “We pleaded for them to allow him to put on his clothes, but they refused. When my mother resisted, they beat up her also,” he said.

“They did not spare even me, seeing that I am handicapped,” he said.

A functionary of the Traders’ Federation in Nauhatta, Farooq Ahmad Gilkar, said that local residents were in contact with the police and wanted the matter of arrests to be resolved amicably.

A police spokesman said that allegations of violence and ransacking levelled at the force were baseless.

Declining to comment on why fathers had been picked up in lieu of sons, the spokesman said that of the youth picked up for questioning those not found involved in unlawful activities would be released.

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