SRINAGAR A Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) in south Kashmir’s Anantnag was picked up by collar abused and dragged upto about 20 meters and thrashed on gun point reportedly by the Army personnel on Tuesday, sparking off protests by government employees who announced they would boycott poll duties till action was taken.
District officials said SDM Ghulam Rasool Wani was on way to Qazigund town when his vehicle was stopped by the soldiers.
As per the directions of worthy deputy commissioner Anantnag to reach Vessu Qazigund for resolving matter of traffic, truck congestion on National highway at 10:40 a.m., I along with my team of officials were coming from Dooru via Ujroo crossing in government vehicle BOLERO) and it was found that the army personnel deployed on the highway had stopped all the civilian traffic despite of not being the restricted day for army convoys, he said in application to SHO Qazigund for registered of FIR . After introducing myself to the army personnel, we were allowed to move towards Vessu but at Dalwach crossing near under’ construction bridge, we were again stopped by some army personnel and asked not to proceed forward unless the Army convoy passes ends, he said.
Accordingly he said his driver stopped the vehicle and were on halt. Despite being stationery one of the army personnel namely Viney Kumar came down heavily on my driver and beat him ruthlessly besides damaging the government vehicle, he said, adding when I intercepted for safety of my driver, pleading that I am Sub Divisional Magistrate Dooru . I was picked up by collar, abused and dragged upto about 20 meters and thrashed on gun point. My cell phone and driver’s cell phone were snatched and broken into pieces.
Further, he said the army man with other two army men got my other employees down from the vehicle and thrashed them ruthlessly and their cell phones were also snatched and damaged. Not only this, all of us were taken hostage on gun point for about half an hour and our vehicle and other belongings were searched damaged and all the data about election were deleted, damaged and removed and didnt allow us to convey the incident to senior officers, he said, adding,
The army personnel removed their safety locks of their weapons and aimed guns at us, threatening to kill us.
It was only after the Deputy Commissioner Anantnag reached that the SDM and other employees were set free.
It is requested that FIR be lodged against the security personnel under the relevant provisions of law for manhandling, intimidating and resorting to violence against the undersigned and my officials and obstructing us from performing our official duties including that of election duties, he added.
Army spokesman said they were ascertaining the facts and would issue a statement later.
Employees at the district election office in Anantnag said they would boycott poll duties till an FIR is lodged against army personnel responsible.
Politicians Demand Action Against Erring Soldiers
As sub-divisional magistrate was allegedly manhandled by army south Kashmir, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, Congress state chief G A Mir and bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal demanded action against the erring army personnel.
“News of physical assault on SDM Duroo by army is very shocking. If true, DC/SSP Anantnag should immediately register an FIR and arrest the erring personnel,” Faesal tweeted.
He hoped that “AFSPA won’t come in the way of IPC/RPC and the action will be taken”.
Mufti lashed out at the authorities for creating a “sense of siege” which saw a Sub Divisional Magistrate being roughed up by army personnel in south Kashmir. She demanded action against those involved in the incident.
“There are reports that a Sub Divisonal Magistrate along with his some of his staff members have been roughed up by some security personnel and even their mobile phones have been damaged. Such an unruly behaviour has become a norm. I condemn this high handedness and seek exemplary punishment against those found guilty,” she said.
PCC president Ghulam Ahmad Mir also strongly condemned manhandling of SDM Dooru and sought ‘stern action’ against Army Officer.
Expressing serious concern over the incident Mir described the manhandling of SDM as very unfortunate and shameful act and asked the government to conduct an immediate enquiry against the responsible Army Officer, he said
Such incidents would further alienate people, people have already lost faith in the system and today’s incident of manhandling has sent shock waves across the valley, it said, adding, It was a shameful act on the part of Army Officer and action must be initiated against him Mir added and urged the Army top brass to initiate court martial against the guilty officer.
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