Shopian villagers accuse Army of thrashing civilians, vandalizing houses

Residents stage protest against ‘Army’s highhandedness’

Army went on a rampage in Mochwara village on south Kashmir’s Shopian district Tuesday night during which around 11 people including two sons of a retired police official and a 10th standard student were mercilessly thrashed, and five houses and some vehicles vandalized, locals said.
Aged Ghulam Mohuiddin Shah, a retired police official, informed Kashmir Post that Tuesday evening at around 11:15 pm when they were already asleep, they were awakened by sudden smashing of window panes.
“We noticed shreds of window glasses falling in our rooms,” he said. “Before we could make any sense of what is happening in our house, we heard frightful knocks at our doors.”
Shah said the family members were thinking of coming out their rooms when some Army personnel of Rashtriya Rifles forced their entry into their bedrooms.
Aged Shah said without any provocation, the Army men instantly started kicking and hitting two of his sons, Rayees Ahmad, father of two little kids, and Gowhar Ahmad.
“They locked me inside a room and dragged both my sons out in the yard where they were mercilessly thrashed,” he said.
Gowhar, who along with his elder brother is lying on a sick bed, said 30 Army men pounced upon him and his brother.
“They flogged us and hit us with gun butts,” he said. “We were beaten to such an extent that we were unable to stand on our legs.
Gowhar said after the beating Rayees started vomiting and his nose bled profusely.
The injured, who were lying on the ground, were shifted to PHC Rajpora for treatment by their family members where doctors referred them to SMHS for orthopedic and neurology consultation.
Gowhar is gradually recovering but complains of severe pain in shoulder joint while Rayees is still in trauma and complains of vomiting and pain in head.
In their neighbourhood, Ghulam Hassan Shah’s four sons, a grandson and a guest were also beaten mercilessly.
Four among the injured were seen lying on separate sick beds and people were turning up at their home in droves to enquire about the condition of the injured.
Imran Shah, 15, a 10th standard student, was lying in a bed on the first floor and withering in pain.
He has bruises and beating marks on his back.
Imran is unable to rest on his back and is sleeping in a prostrated condition.
Imran, who had returned from a picnic only an hour ago, was caught and thrashed by Army men along with his father, Showket Ahmad, uncles Muhammad Altaf, Parvaiz Ahmad, Shabir Ahmad and a guest, Shameem Ahmad of Arwani Kulgam.
“The Army men stoned our window panes without any provocation and started beating us like cattle with flogs and gun butts,” said one of the injured, Altaf Ahmad, who received six stitches on his head.
Altaf along with his two brothers were lying in a room on second storey.
“They put gun nozzles in our mouths and warned us of dire consequences for revealing the incident to anyone,” the injured said.
Other people who were thrashed were identified as Muhammad Ayoub Shah, Aijaz Ahmad Shah, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah and Ishfaq Ahmad Shah.
The villagers said four vehicles, two motor bikes and a tractor too were damaged.
Residents of Mochwara and adjoining villages staged a protest against the “highhandedness” of the government forces and blocked Keller-Rajpora road.
A senior Police official, who is not authorized to talk to the media, said the representatives of the village held a meeting with Police and that Police was working on the case.
He didn’t reveal whether Police registered any case in this matter or not.
“No comments about an FIR,” he said.
Army denied allegations as baseless and said none of them were involved in the incident.