Bandipore Erupts After Woman ‘Thrashed’ by Security Forces

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BANDIPORE: Massive protests broke-out in Bandipore Monday after SOG and RR personnel severely thrashed five villagers, including a woman at Chuntmullah village during a search operation.

The protesters who marched to the Deputy Commissioner’s office alleged that a woman and her son were among at least five persons beaten ruthlessly by the SOG and 14 RR personnel during a cordon and search operation in the village. They said that the woman has severe injury marks and is being treated at a hospital in Bandipore. Three other injured were rushed to SKIMS Srinagar for the treatment.

Police sources said that army had launched a cordon and search operation at Zabn Gujjar Basti in Chuntmullah village with the help of SOG and started detaining some people in the area.

However the residents objected to the detentions following which personnel allegedly beat them, they said. “The locals claimed that the detainees were innocents,” eyewitnesses said. During the process they also beat up a woman, resulting in multiple injuries to her, they further said.

Soon after the news about beating of the woman spread in the area, people took to streets and marched towards Deputy Commissioner’s office and demanded strict action against the guilty.

Agitated over the “ruthless” beating by forces, the villagers carried the injured men with them and marched towards Bandipore town to “highlight” the issue with the administration.

The villagers were demanding action against the army and SOG men who thrashed their kin.

But as they reached Madar area, police deployed there resorted to lathi charge and tear gas shelling to stop them from reaching the town.

However, the protesters gave a stiff resistance and managed to break through police barricades.

Traders in the town joined the protest and downed shutters of shops and other commercial establishments. The situation in entire town was tense when reports last came in.

Residents alleged that ever since the killing of SI Altaf Khan in October last month, the security forces continuously harass the villagers. “Today they crossed all limits and beat up a woman. This is unacceptable,” a protester said and demanded strict action against those involved.

A senior police officer meanwhile confirmed the incident and said that investigation has been launched into the matter.

He assured that whosoever involved in the beating of people will not be spared.

Army Srinagar based defence ministry official said that army and SOG had launched joint operation and “picked up some suspects in the area”.

“There were violent clashes after the suspected persons were picked up and police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the crowd. Army doesn’t resort to laticharge,” he said, adding police later released all the suspected persons. 

DC Orders Inquiry, Asks Police to Register FIR

Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Sajjad Hussain Ganaie Monday evening confirmed that the army has beaten up the villagers and he has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

“It is a fact that army has beaten up some youth in Chuntmulla village. Their families and other villagers protested against the army. The villagers pelted stones toward the army. I have ordered an inquiry into the incident which will be headed by ACR Bandipore, Masarrat Hashim, and also directed the police to register an FIR.” the DC said.

The deputy commissioner said that five persons were injured, out of the them three severely injured were rushed to SKIMS, Soura.

Senior Superintendent of Police Bandipore, Shabir Ahmad Choudhary said that the police are verifying the facts about the beating of the villagers by forces.

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