Pre-Poll Crackdown Launched in Pulwama

Pulwama: Ahead of parliament by-polls, police have started a crackdown against the suspected youth in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and has arrested more than forty persons from past two weeks while in fresh nocturnal raids 15 more youths mostly students were picked up in different parts of the district.

A large number of men and women were seen standing outside police station and SP office Pulwama seeking release of their loved ones. Talking to news agency CNS that parents of the arrested youth said that their children were dragged out from their house during night raids and lodged in police station. “Police is not giving any reason to us. We want to know why they have been arrested. They are mostly students,” said a group of people waiting outside police station Pulwama.

Sources said that government forces conducted nocturnal raids in different villages of Pulwama and arrested 15 youths. “Six youths were arrested from Wurwan village, two each from Karimabad, Larvu, Rajpora and Hanjin villages while a youth was arrested from Drabgam hamlet. Sources added that during twin raids in Karimabad village, government forces arrested Shahnawaz Pandit, the brother of slain Hizb militant Naseer Ahmed Pandit. “There was a confrontation between family members of Shahnawaz and the government forces when he was dragged out from his house. He is a 2nd year student and is innocent,” Ghulam Rasool Pandit said.

Pertinently, last week, government forces raided Naira village of the district and arrested two dozen youth. Naira is the native village PDP youth leader Wahid Parra. Sources said that crackdown on youth has been started to ensure incident free poling in the district.

 A police official on condition of anonymity said that these youth have been arrested for their alleged involvement in pasting and distributing the ‘election-boycott’ posters of militant outfit Hizbul Mujhadeen. Recently, posters attributed to Hizb were found in different parts of district that asked people to boycott the upcoming elections. “We have been questioning them with regard to these threatening posters. Innocents will be released while guilty will face the music,” he said. 

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