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SRINAGAR

Police arrested all but 18 boys of North Kashmir from Srinagar city during a nocturnal raid on Tuesday.

According to locals, policemen arrived in the Armwari Rajbagh area of Srinagar city in the middle of the last night and raided two houses.

The locals told news agency CNS that two police parties from Sumbal and Rajbagh police stations raided the two houses at Armwari and arrested 18 boys, all hailing from Hajin area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Locals said that these youth were staying in two rented houses and were labourers, a charge that was refuted by police who claimed that they were all “known stone-pelters evading arrest from past one month”.

A Civil Secretariat employee from Jammu who lives on rented accommodation in the area said his family member got scared the way policemen thrashed these boys shortly after their arrest. “The policemen directed us to put out our lights and shut the windows,” he said.

Confirming the arrest of these youth who hail from Hajin, a police official said that they were all “evading arrest” from past one month. “These stone-pelters were not only responsible for the loot and arson of private and public property but they had also attacked a police officer,” he said.

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