‘Army Stops Bridegroom Procession; Detains Bride, Guests for Hours in Poonch’



Army in Balakote sector of Poonch district Monday stopped a bridegroom procession (Baraat) and detained guests including bride for three long hours. The incident has triggered protests in the area and army has sought apology from the people.

According to GNS, Baraat of Muhammad Razaaq was coming back from Baryani Gali of Rajouri district yesterday at 4 pm and it was stopped by army’ s 43 RR and Artillery Regiment  at Ramlutta near fence gate.

Witnesses said that the bride was asked by army to come out of palanquin (Doli) three times and the palanquin was frisked. “The army also broke the lock of a box of bride and frisked that as well,” the witnesses said. The army also frisked other people who were part of the Baraat and detained them for 3 hours.

“The army misbehaved with us and also placed gun on the chest of a revenue officer namely Muhammad Khaleel and asked him to reveal his nationality,” the witnesses said. Finally, the army let the Baraat to go ahead at 7 pm.

However, the incident caused outrage among local people and they staged anti-army protest today. As the protests were underway, the in charge officer of Balakote Police Post ASI Nazarat Hussain contacted SDPO Mendhar Shahid Nayeem.

To pacify the protesters, the senior army, civil and police officers rushed to the spot and assured people that the incident would be probed. Following the protests, the Commanding Officer of 15 Bihar regiment apologized to people on the behalf of 43 RR and Artillery Regiment.

A meeting of locals and senior police, military and civil officers was underway when this report was being filed.


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