Kupwara: A massive protest was staged by locals in frontier district Kupwara after Army, Police and Para-military Central Reserve Police Force personnel in a joint operation arrested 55 people during pre-dawn crackdown on Saturday.
The locals from Taras Natnusa area of Kupwara district said that hundreds of Army men from 47 Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and Jammu Kashmir Police cordoned off the village at around 5 AM of Saturday morning. The locals were not only beaten but residential houses were also damaged. The village is comprised of 350 households while government forces during search operation caused damage to more than 120 residential houses. Residents alleged forces ransacked apple boxes with dozens stolen by the troopers.
The residents said that forces assembled people in long queues and later arrested 55 of them. “To save themselves from the wrath of these forces personnel more than 50 youth escaped from the village and we don’t know where they have gone,” the villagers said.
“This village is 8 kilometers away from the highway and it didn’t witness any major pro-freedom procession from the past three months. We don’t know why this village was targeted and why people were roughed up and arrested,” they said.
According to Senior Superintendent of Police, Kupwara Shamsher Singh said that most of the processions were witnessed in Taras Natnusa village. “I can’t give you the exact number of people who were arrested but, yes, during the crackdown, we picked up the wanted stone-pelters,” he said and refuted the allegations that houses were ransacked, people were beaten up and apple boxes were lifted. “There is nothing like that. The search operation was launched to nab the ‘wanted’ pelters,” he added.
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