Shopian: Residents of Vehil and Turkawangam villages in Shopian district on Tuesday alleged that government forces thrashed inmates and ransacked several houses in the areas late last night. Army however denied the allegations.
Locals said government forces vandalized dozens of shops and vehicles in Vehil after youth burst firecrackers to celebrate Pakistan cricket team’s win over Sri Lanka in the ongoing ‘Champions Trophy’ in England.
“As the youth were celebrating the Pakistan win, forces personnel reached Vehil and fired several rounds in the air to disperse the people who were bursting firecrackers,” they said.
They said the forces personnel later ransacked shops and smashed windowpanes of houses and also damaged vehicles parked on roadsides.
Many shopkeepers alleged that their merchandise was missing following the forces’ “raid.”
Locals took to streets this morning and staged massive protests against the government forces.
Vehil village, located around 5 kms from Shopian town, observed a complete shutdown against the “forces’ highhandedness.”
Meanwhile, residents of Turkawangam village said dozens of inhabitants were injured when government forces went berserk there last night.
A local, who didn’t wish to be named, told Greater Kashmir that forces’ personnel barged into houses last night and beat up inmates. “They vandalized property after forcing their way into dozens of houses. For around two hours, they (force personnel) ruthlessly thrashed people and damaged properties,” the locals alleged.
“They damaged private cars, load carriers and broke doors, windowpanes of several houses. Dozens of residents, who sustained injuries, were rushed to Srinagar for specialized treatment.”
Superintendent of Police Shopian A S Dinkar said he would ascertain what has happened in the villages.
However army denied the allegations. “The Army neither damaged any property nor beat up anyone there. This is only allegation,” Army’s Srinagar-based spokesman Rajesh Kalia told Greater Kashmir.