MLA Langate, Engineer Rashid on Wednesday marched along with hundreds of protesters for 16 kilometres from Mawar to Handwara north Kashmir Kupwara district after army roughed up a person at Mawar in front of the legislator. Soldiers allegedly pointed guns at the MLA’s chest for objecting to the incident before he lead the march.
“The army men, in front of me, dragged a person while he was driving his Maruti vehicle and roughed him up,” Rashid said.
Rashid, however, did not limit his protest to Wednesday’s incident. His protest was aimed at curbing “relentless atrocities committed by army in the area”. Rashid alleged that the army was forcing residents in the area to destroy their maize crops saying that militants would attack them from these fields.
Rashid had earlier approached the district administration, SP Handwara Rafiq Vakil, Commanding Officer 30 RR posted at Kalam Chakla Mawar for their intervention in stopping the ‘atrocities’. But help came from none of the quarters.
Disgruntled Rashid, an MLA in the government, resorted to protests and vowed to “continue protests until the culprits are booked”.
“After I became an MLA Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said he needs me. Today I need Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to come to the rescue of the people of my constituency and save them from the wrath of the army.”
The MLA Langate said that it was not the chief minister who was running the show in the state but people like IG CID Ashok Ban, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Khurshid Ganai and other bureaucrats.
“I am a Kashmiri not an Indian or a Pakistani and I want to give relief to my Kashmiri people,” he said.