Army men forced to pay for damages
SRINAGAR: In a first of its kind incident, a group of Indian Army personnel travelling in an armored vehicle were forced to pay from their pockets for the damage the Army driver caused to a private Alto car near Bypass Bemina in Srinagar city.
Eyewitnesses said that an armored vehicle of Rashtriya Rifles hit an Alto car, damaging its right portion completely. The incident sparked protest on the spot while group of youth amid pro-freedom slogans cornered the armored vehicle.
Sensing trouble the army personnel apologized to the Alto driver and agreed to pay for the losses from their own pockets, eyewitnesses said.
Confirming the incident, a police official from Batamaloo police station said that they registered no cases after both the parties compromised and Army personnel agreed to pay for the damages.
This incident is significant for many reasons- the primary being that it stands as a metaphor for a radically changed situation in Kashmir. There were days when men in uniform would evoke fear amongst all and sundry but people in Kashmir are now emboldened to take confrontation with the man in fatigues over civil issues.
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