Panic gripped several localities in Bandipora town after army men went berserk damaging residential houses and pelting stones at religious seminary Dar-ul-uloom Rahimya after Pakistan defeated India in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday.
On Monday army men went berserk in Ashtengoo village of this north Kashmir district after their cavalcade was pelted with stones on Sopora-Bandipora Road. The residents alleged that army men broke window panes of residential houses and damaged several vehicles parked on the roadside.
“They broke everything that came their way,” the locals said.
Residents of Ward 5-6 were panicked after Army men stationed at Supply Camp Bandipora pelted stones on the old campus of Dar-ul-uloom Rahimya and adjoining residential houses on Sunday evening.
Eyewitnesses said army men pelted stones on the old campus of Dar-ul-uloom Rahimya which houses Faiz-e-Aam School and the adjoining houses since Sunday afternoon “to punish the youth who were cheering for Pakistan”.
The stone pelting by army men prompted youth to hurl the stones back at the camp. Later a police team led by SHO Bandipora reached the spot and helped in pacifying the situation.
Locals told Kashmir Post that army men resorted to stone pelting again during the late night after the police party left.
“We came out of our houses to stage protest when army continued to pelt stones towards the Dar-ul-uloom as well as residential houses,” local residents said.
According to the enraged locals, this is first such instance in last thirty years when army pelted stones at the residential houses, not even sparing the religious institution.
The locals gathered outside the camp and objected to army’s act and demanded action against the guilty troopers.
The residents later held a protest demonstration and blocked Bandipora-Sopore road. Meanwhile, army officials said they were forced to come out after an army cavalcade passing through the area came under stone pelting.
“We just contained few angry youth who pelted stones on army cavalcade,” the official said.
A police official said that the situation was brought under control. Earlier on Friday, police registered a case against army when they opened fire on a civilian’s car injuring two persons in Chekrishpora area of Bandipora.
Meanwhile, army on Sunday night allegedly went berserk in Batpora village of Yaripora area in Kulgam district following celebrations over Pakistan cricket team’s victory over India in the ICC Champions Trophy.
The residents alleged that soldiers broke windowpanes of residential houses, damaged several vehicles parked on road and also beat up inmates.
“They broke everything that came their way. They unleashed a reign of terror,” they said.
Locals said they celebrated the Pakistan’s thumping victory against India “which irked the army personnel stationed in nearby camp.”
Srinagar-based Army spokesman, Col. Rajesh Kalia denied the allegations, saying no army personnel was involved in damaging or ransacking the property in the village.