Tulmulla shuts against ‘police excesses’

Locals refute police claims, say Imam didn’t provoke people

People in Tulmulla area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district Sunday observed complete shutdown against the alleged police atrocities on them. 
Reports said local residents held two-hour sit-in this morning, demanding unconditional release of people taken into custody by police Saturday. Trouble had erupted in the area when police arrested a government employee at Zonal Education Office who was caught there by people red-handed allegedly with a female on Friday.
Officials today visited the sit-in spot and also assured the protestors that the arrestees would be released on Monday. The area witnessed curfew-like restrictions Saturday following clashes between police and stone-pelting youths during Friday night.
Locals said the shutdown was observed to express resentment against police excesses in the area. “Police used force against civilians and entered into a local Masjid and beat up people inside it,” said residents of Mesherpora, Tulmulla.
They alleged that police is trying to implicate a local Imam who is presently undergoing treatment in a hospital after he was beaten by cops inside the Masjid.  “It was police and not the Imam who provoked people. Police and CRPF went berserk in the area, injuring dozens, including the Imam,” the protesters said. 
Earlier, a delegation of senior citizens led by MoulanaPeerzadaMushtaq visited local police station and apprised officials about their demands including release of all arrestees and withdrawal of case against the local Imam. 
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani condemned the alleged violence by police in Tulmulla. He demanded impartial investigation into the entire incident. “If people of Tulmulla were protesting against some immoral activity, they should have been encouraged,” Geelani said. “Police should have supported the locals instead of resorting to violence.” 
The Hurriyat (G) is itself probing the incident, Geelani said.

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