#Day 44: ‘Operation Window Smashing’ Gets Into Srinagar?



A woman looking outside her broken window in south Kashmir.
A woman looking outside her smashed window in south Kashmir.

Residents of Mandir Bagh in Srinagar alleged that the government forces appeared in their curfew-bound belts late last night and restored to massive stone pelting. Windowpanes of most of the houses located on the road were smashed and the “operation” continued for many hours, past midnight.

“They were hurling abuses and it was very difficult for us to actually talk to them and ask them why are doing so,” one resident told Kashmir Life.

Offering details one resident alleged that the CRPF and police had entered into the locality at 8pm for imposing night curfew. “At 11am they started stone pelting and it continued till 4am,” the resident said. “They were telling each other that this locality will not be permitted to rest for the whole night.”

SP East told Kashmir Life that a police party visited the area soon after the residents complained. “There were some instances of stone pelting on houses and we have pacified the residents,” SP said. “We are looking into the complaints as why the CRPF did it.”

Lately, the reports of paramilitary men getting into isolated villages and attacking houses were received from various villages, mostly in south Kashmir. In certain cases, raids are being carried out simultaneously to detain the suspects. Some of these “operations” carried out during broad day light were captured by some people and put on social websites have already gone viral despite limited internet connectivity across Kashmir. In Beehama Ganderbal, the villagers said “window smashing’ has become a “sport” for CRPF men.

Windowpane shattered window. (Photo courtesy: Sajad Dar/KL)
Windowpane shattered window. (Photo courtesy: Sajad Dar/KL)

This is precisely the main reason why people in various localities, in Srinagar and outside, are not sleeping during nights and have kept a “guard” on the streets. Even in Srinagar, Batamaloo is living on roads during nights as the CRPF-police have encircled it outside. For some days, the local youth would actually pitch tents on the roads to stay guard and the main motivation, they say, is to protect the homes.

“Last night, I rang up one of my subordinates in a south Kashmir village just to enquire about his welfare,” a middle rung office posted in Srinagar said. “He said he is guarding his street as it was his turn that night. He said his son has been deputed by the locality on the other street.”

These “night vigilantes” are blocking entry into the localities and the main reason is being told as that of night attacks on homes.

In certain areas, there has been nocturnal confrontation between the government forces and the people when the former would get in for arrests of “suspects”. In Kulgam and Tral, police had to open pellet guns Saturday night that led to injuries to almost five persons including an aged couple.

Already, the reports of windowpane smashing have reported from many parts of city including Chota Bazaar, Habba Kadal and others.

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