The detention of Auqaf president and the alleged ransacking of residential houses sparked a shutdown and protest in Bugam area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Friday. Locals alleged a large contingent of forces cordoned off Bugam hamlet on Thursday night. “The forces smashed the windowpanes of the residential houses after people tried to come out from their houses. They barged into the house of Auquaf Khankah President Fayaz Ahmed Rather and dragged him out from the houses. Rather was taken to some unknown destination,” locals told CNS.

They said that from past couple of days the forces raided the Markazi Jamia Masjid that is under construction. “The locals pooled in money for the construction of this Masjid. The Police had been harassing the Auqaf President asking him where from they got the money for the construction of this Central Masjid,” the locals said adding that even constructing or renovating of a Masjid has become a nuisance for the common people.

“Since 2008 agitation, we didn’t allow any leader from any political party to enter into our village. The area remained peaceful all these years but now the government agencies have been instigating us for the violence,” locals said.

Meanwhile, all the shops and business establishment remained shut in the area against the nocturnal raid and arrest of Auqaf president.

Youth amid pro-freedom slogans burn tyres on the roads near Muslim Chowk Bugam and staged a massive anti-India protest after Friday prayers. They demanded the immediate release of Auqaf President.

A police official on the condition of anonymity said that Auqaf President has been called to police station for questioning.

He denied that police raided his house during the dead of the night, a claim refuted by the family members of Auqaf president.


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