Dozens injured after army soldiers allegedly go berserk in Shopian village

Shopian, July 18, CNS: Locals from a South Kashmir village Wednesday requested police to register an FIR against army soldiers who according to them let loose a reign of terror in the middle of the night.

A large number of people from Mashward village of Shopian district approached police and narrated the ordeal. They urged upon police to lodge an FIR against the soldiers who according to them are habitual of barging into houses and terrorizing people.

The locals alleged that on Tuesday night army soldiers barged into the houses, assaulted people and damaged property without any provocation. “They thrashed over a dozen people who sustained injuries and have been hospitalized,” the locals told news agency CNS adding that the soldiers action was uncalled far as the village has never witnessed any untoward incident including stone-pelting.

“It was a hell like situation. We were treated like cattle. Our women folk shivered with fear and they hid themselves. A youth when asked soldiers to stop breaking the law, they pounced upon him and hit him with gun buts and jack boots,” said an elderly man.

“The soldiers not only beat people but also damaged cars and bikes in the village that has no record of stone pelting,” said Irshad Ahmed adding that even the headman of the village was not spared.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Shopian, Dr Jaffar Akhoon said that nine injured persons allegedly assaulted by the army were brought to Rajpora hospital of Pulwama for treatment. “We referred many of them to SMHS Srinagar for advanced treatment,” Akhoon said.

Srinagar based army spokesman, Colonial Rajesh Kalia while terming the allegations baseless said that: “None of our soliders are involved in any kind of manhandling, assault and damaging public property in the village,” he said.

SSP Shopian Sandeep Sharma told CNS that he talked to villagers who had come to meet him. “I listened to them and matter is being investigated,” he added.

Meanwhile, a family from Manchwan Yaripora Kulgam has alleged that soldiers from 1 RR thrashed their 22 year old son Irshad Ahmed Bhat after they checked his cell phone. The family said that they have admitted their son at SMHS hospital where doctors conducted an emergency operation upon him. “Irshad was on way towards his home on a motor-cycle when he was intercepted by a naka party led by Army near patrol pump. They checked his cell-phone and thrashed him. Some locals shifted him to District Hospital Anantnag where from he was referred to SMHS Hospital,” the family members said.

A police official said that they will ascertain the facts. (CNS)