Villagers in Abanshah allege thrashing, raids by army: Report

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 12/1/2020 1:13:09 PM

JAMMU, Nov 30: Locals in Abanshah, in the outskirts of Srinagar, which witnessed a deadly attack by militants in which two army personnel were killed on November 26 last find their lives turned into a nightmare ever since.
According to a report in web portal Kashmir Walla, the locals have accused the Army of raiding the neighbourhood every day and night, dragging out civilians and beating them up. More than a dozen families claimed that more than sixty people were beaten up by the army so far, according to the report.
The report alleges that in the intervening night of November 28 and 29, several men were forced to come out of their homes “not allowed to even wear their shoes” and “made to stand in a line” in the dark street amidst freezing cold.
Quoting one of the survivors of the incident, the report says, “As the men and boys shivered, one trooper walked up to Hussain and said: “Yeh raattukabhinahibhulega. Yeh to shuruwathai.” (You’ll never forget this night. This is just the beginning.) Hussain said the troops kept repeating the same questions: “Where are the militants?”, “Tell us where did they eat food?”, “Did you watch the video?”. The troopers were referring to a video recorded and released by militants who attacked a patrol group, killing two troopers, on the afternoon of 26 November in this area.”
The report alleges, the army personnel asked the group to lie on the road, with their bellies down. Armed with assault rifles and thick bamboo sticks, Hussain said, the army troopers thrashed the rounded up residents for nearly an hour.
It also quotes Hussain as alleging, “We were not allowed to scream or even raise our heads up…When I screamed, their officer walked up to me and said ‘Bol, Jai Shri Ram’.”
Another survivor, 18-year-old Mir, is quoted as saying, “They were seven personnel, who kept beating me. Two of them held me [and] others beat me up. Then they pushed me to the ground and kept beating.” The report mentions that Mir’s annual examinations are coming next month. He said, “If I sit here, I can’t study anymore….. So now, I’ll go to my relative’s house. I need to concentrate; my studies are important.”
The report mentioned that daily raids have made many of the men to flee the village. But not everybody has been lucky. Three siblings were so badly beaten up on Friday night that they had to be admitted to a hospital in Srinagar. Five more are also reported to be hospitalized.
They also took away the phones of all villagers including women along with passwords, getting complete access to all their data including personal photographs, and causing resentment particularly the women who feel that their private life is being encroached upon.
Army’s Srinagar based spokesperson Rajesh Kalia said, “These allegations are unfounded. No army personnel is involved in thrashing or beating of civilians.”
The Senior Superintendent of Police, Srinagar, Haseeb Mughal, was quoted as saying that “no such complaints are there with the police station”. SHO Parimpora said that no such complaint has been lodged and if anyone has a complaint, they should report to him.
However, young survivors are quoted by the report to have stated that people are scared of Police and fear more reprisal if they make any complaint.
Jammu and Kashmir's former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today quoted the Kashmir walla report and took a jibe at the BJP-ruled Centre and said that it "seems like this is GOI's vision for integrating J&K into India".
"Army personnel drags civilians out of their homes in the middle of the night, thrash them with batons & then force these innocent men to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’. Seems like this is GOI’s ‘vision’ for integrating J&K into India now," Mufti tweeted along with the report detailing the incident.



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