Police v/s Army in Sonamarg
6 cops injured in ‘attack’ by HAWS personnel
Sonamarg, May 23: At least six policemen were Friday injured after a verbal brawl between police and personnel of Army’s High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) at the tourist resort of Sonamarg turned ugly. Two Army men have reportedly been arrested after the incident.
Reports said a vehicle of HAWS had fled after hitting a sumo at Sonamarg Thursday. Soon after the incident, the sumo driver filed a complaint with local police station and the cops swung into action to nab the vehicle.
“When cops spotted the HAWS vehicle near Sonamarg, they stopped it and started inquiring about the hit-and-run incident from the personnel travelling in it,” reports said. “The cops’ questioning irritated the HAWS personnel who started shouting at the cops, leading to a verbal brawl. The HAWS men beat up, abused and attacked the cops, injuring at least six of them.”
Reports said the HAWS men snatched a loaded rifle from a cop. Later, police raided the HAWS camp at Nilgrar Sonamarg and arrested a Hawaldar and a Subedear along with the snatched rifle. They also seized the HAWS vehicle.
The injured cops have been identified as ASI Abdul Ahad, Constable Bilal Ahmad, Constable Tabasum Ahmad, Constable Javaid Ahmad, Constable Altaf Ahmad and SPO Ashiq Ashraf. They were rushed to Primary Health Center Sonamarg wherefrom Tabasum and Ashiq were shifted to Tauma Hospital Kangan.
Dr Javaid, Superintendent Trauma Hopsital, said the duo had received head injuries “but are stable.”
Soon after the incident, locals staged protests at Sonamarg market and demanded action against the erring HAWS personnel.
Police have registered case under FIR NO 03/2014 under sections 452, 392, 147, 148, 332 and 307 of the RPC.
When contacted, SP Ganderbal, Shahid Mehraj, told Greater Kashmir that the HAWS personnel “manhandled our men and we have taken up the investigation.”
Reports said Army personnel barged into police station Sonamarg and resorted to indiscriminate firing. “They fired scores of bullets and some of the bullets hit the walls of the police station,” In-Charge Station House Officer Sonamarg, Irfan Ahmed Malik, said.
Reports said army men went berserk after coming out from police station and started beating everyone. “I tried to stop them but they beat me to pulp,” Sarpanch Sonamarg Nazir Ahmed told CNS.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Abdul Gani Mir said strict action would be taken against the erring army personnel. “We have sent a team there to assess the situation and law will take its own course,” he said.
Srinagar-based Army spokesperson NN Joshi said: “A close liaison is being maintained with the police and the matter is being investigated jointly. Those found guilty will be punished.”