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FIR filed against army unit for ‘thrashing’ SDM in Kashmir

Major Himanshu Pareek, in-charge of the unit against which the case has been filed, told TOI that they were contemplating to lodge a counter FIR against the SDM and other officials present in his vehicle.

Apr 18, 2019, 10.41 AM IST
SRINAGAR: A day after some army personnel allegedly thrashed Dooru SDM Ghulam Rasool Wani and his staff members at Dalwach Crossing on Srinagar-Jammu NH in Qazigund area of south Kashmir, police on Wednesday filed an FIR against the army unit involved even as the Army called it a ‘trivial’ matter and threatened to lodge a counter FIR.

Major Himanshu Pareek, in-charge of the unit against which the case has been filed, told TOI that they were contemplating to lodge a counter FIR against the SDM and other officials present in his vehicle for “they tried to snatch the weapon of one of our soldiers”.

A senior police officer said the FIR has been registered against the army unit at Qazigund police station.

In his application to the police on Tuesday, SDM Wani had complained that he and his staff members were thrashed by army men when they were on their way to Anantnag from Dooru after inspecting election preparations there. Wani said he was dragged by the collar, kicked and abused when he tried to protect his driver from thrashing by some army personnel, including one Vinay Kumar, on the NH.

“The army personnel removed safety locks of their weapons and aimed guns at us, threatening to kill us and it was only after Anantnag deputy commissioner reached the spot that we were set free,” the SDM wrote in his application to the Qazigund SHO.

On Tuesday, the SDM said, deputy commissioner Khalid Jehangir had asked him and other officials to reach Vessu in Qazigund for resolving the issue of traffic/truck congestion on the NH. Around 10.40am, the SDM along with other officials headed for the spot from Dooru via Ujroo crossing in a government vehicle (JK0-3G3850). The army personnel deployed on the NH had stopped all civilian traffic to facilitate movement of army convoys, the SDM said.

“After introducing myself to the army personnel at Ujroo, we were allowed to move towards Vessu but at Dalwach Crossing, we were again stopped and asked not to proceed further. Accordingly, my driver stopped the vehicle,” he said.

Despite this, the SDM said, army personnel Vinay Kumar beat his driver besides damaging the government vehicle. He said when he tried to intervene, the army men grabbed him by the collar, abused and dragged him up to about 20 metres and thrashed him at gunpoint.

“My cell phone and that of my driver were snatched and broken into pieces. Further, Vinay Kumar and two of his colleagues got other members of my team down from the vehicle and thrashed them mercilessly. Their cell phones too were snatched and damaged,” the SDM said in his application to police.

He further said, “All of us were taken hostage at gunpoint for about half an hour and our vehicle and other belongings were searched, snatched and damaged. They also deleted all the data relating to the election from our electronic devices,” he said.

Reacting to the thrashing of the SDM, former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said that ‘jungle raj’ was prevailing in the Valley. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Mehbooba said: “Ban on the highway, thrashing of the SDM and beating of inmates depict jungle raj in Kashmir.”
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