Palhallan Youth Flee to Evade Arrest

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Curfew like situation in restive village

SRINAGAR: Though there has been no official proclamation of curfew in Palhallan area of Pattan in North Kashmir, contingents of police and paramilitary forces Monday restricted the movement of civilians there, thus virtually imposing curfew for the 4th consecutive day.

Residents alleged that they have not been allowed to move out of their houses since the day of Eid (October 16). “On Eid-ul-Zuha, some unknown youth in the area pelted stones on a police vehicle which resulted in injuries to a police driver who later died in hospital. 

Since then police has launched a crackdown arresting youth at random, they alleged. “Majority of youth from the village have gone into hiding fearing arrest,” locals said.

Police and CRPF have launched door to door searches in the area, they said.

“As we were sacrificing animals on day of Eid, at around noon, a large contingent of police and CRPF entered our house and ransacked household items and thrashed everyone who came their way,” said Ali Muhammad Wani, an elderly person from the area.

“Since then, we are not being allowed to move out. Even CRPF didn’t allow us to offer Friday prayers,” Wani added.

He further said: “In our area (Aram Mohallah), CRPF and police have crossed all limits by barging into houses besides smashing all window panes and doors that come their way.”

“We were not even allowed to distribute the sacrificial meet while majority of the people did not offer Eid sacrifices,” a resident said adding that nobody is allowed to venture from his house.

However, police denied these allegations saying that youth of Palhalan were responsible for the murder of an innocent policeman. “There is no curfew in the town. We have imposed restrictions as precautionary measures. We appeal elders of the town to come forward and assure us that no such incident would occur in future,” Deputy Inspector General of Police, North Kashmir, J.P.Singh said adding that it has become a routing for the youth in Palhalan to attack any police van passing through the area. 

A police official said that we have already registered a case against the stone pelters vide FIR number264/2013 under section 302, 153, 153B and 120A of RPC. “However, we have not arrested anyone yet. Soon after identifying the culprits we are going to start a crackdown in the area,” he said. 

When contacted Superintendent of Police, Baramulla, Zubair Ahmed Khan dismissed the allegations by residents. He said there were no restrictions on ground and it was a rumor that Palhallan was under curfew from last four days. “Everything is normal and situation is under control,” SP said.

Deputy Commissioner (DC), Baramulla, Ghulam Ahmad Khawaja also denied that curfew has been imposed in any area of Palhallan or elsewhere in Baramulla district. “People of Palhallan should resume their business as routine as there are no restrictions in place,” DC added.  

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