The group clashes that erupted soon after the Ramban blood bath in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district has affected at least 32 hamlets. The clashes have left at least 68 persons injured including a woman who has been battling for life at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences. Police sources told CNS that at least 150 were arrested and lodged in Central Jail Srinagar for their alleged involvement in goading sectarian violence.
In Sofipora hamlet alone, 25 residential structures including cowsheds were gutted in group clashes which left hundreds of people homeless. “My three storey residential house was set on fire by ‘Vandals’ though we had played no role in these clashes. I wonder why these few ‘goons’ set my house along with others on fire,” one of the residents of Sofipora told CNS adding that the destruction could have been stopped if administration would have imposed curfew in the nick of time.
“Few men donning police uniform carrying swords in their hands went on rampage in Sofipora. We fail to understand whether they were policemen or civilians. Police is meant for the protection of people but they were destroying the houses, beating people and smashing window panes of vehicles,” an elderly person said.
Frenzy mob went on rampage in Babapora and set fives houses on fire. “We could not comprehend anything till we saw our houses on flames. Frenzy mob was equipped with swords, iron rods, sticks and chains,” Another resident told CNS.
“We were shocked to see the frenzy mob taking away our cattle and other belongings. They were looters and made inroads in every village to loot the cattle, cash and other belongings,” said a resident from Babapora Budgam.
A resident from Laribal area of Central Kashmir’s Budgam district told CNS that this village is comprised of both Shai and Sunni population who live in harmony from centuries together. All the villagers from both the sects were shocked to see strangers appearing in the village and setting houses on fire randomly. The mob from outside set the houses belonging to both sects on fire,” he said.
The villages that were hit with the violence included Ghalwanpora, Laribal, Hawkarmola, Sofipora, Babapora, Pymus, Rishipora, Purso, Paresabad, Dedina, Wahabpora, Chandpora, Abadpora, Chodhribagh, Shoolipora, Mirgund, Kalaipora, Garnad Kalan, Garnad Khurud, Chadbuk, Wadwan, Sefdan and Gotapora.
Reports said that one woman from Dedina village identified as Fatima Banoo was critically injured when miscreants hit her head with a rod when she was trying to save her belongings during the riots.
There were reports of clashes from different parts of the district as people alleged that gun shots and shelling during the dead of night gave them sleepless night
People told CNS that miscreants snap water supply to villages ike wadwan ,Gothpora,Chadbuk Badgam. Miscreants snapped the water supply from Wahabpora water supply Tank with the result about twenty thousand people of Wadwan ,Gothpora,Chadbuk are without water from last three days.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that last night the clashes spread to over five villages. “Soon after the night prayers miscreants tried to storm the two villages situated between the Wadwan and Chadbuk, but timely intervention of Army prevented them. Army resorted aerial firing to dispers the mob,” he said.
Property worth Cores of rupees have got damaged in the ongoing group clashes. Locals alleged that they are living in harmony with each other in their villages and it were outsiders who appear in different villages and create havoc.