Srinagar, July 05: Dozens of youth in Rahmoo area of Pulwama district spent night on fruit trees to escape arrest at the hands of Indian forces, who barged into the locality, late night.
Many residents told media that the youth were certain that they would either be detained or beaten up. “The life for villagers in Rahmoo has become hell because the forces’ personnel beat people without any provocation and ransack homes in the guise of cordon and search operation,” a resident said. “They snatch our identity cards,” many villagers said in unison.
Seventeen-year-old Mudassir Ahmed (name changed) said, “I was making ablution to pray Ishaa (night prayers) when I heard whistles. Whistles mean forces have come into the village. I instantly left my house and rushed to my orchard which is not far from our home.”
It was raining heavily, he added, but I climbed the apple tree and spent the entire night there. “I couldn’t get a wink of sleep. I ate raw apples as I was feeling hungry,” he added.
The boys who couldn’t make it to orchards were beaten up by the troops in their homes. The residents said that the troops ransacked most of the houses in the village and beat up the inmates. “They (troops) broke windowpanes, damaged parked vehicles, blocked entry to mosques and thrashed imams of several mosques,” the locals said.