Rebutting the army claims that eight youth arrested along with ‘arms and ammunition’ in North Kashmir’s Sopore town are affiliated with militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), the residents of Harvan and Gujarpati Zaloora Wednesday while terming all these youth ‘innocent’ said that they were handed over by their families to the police, after Station House Officer Bomai Sopore demanded their presence in police station to verify their anecdotes.
Scores of residents led by Sarpanchs and village headmen from twin hamlets of Sopore arrived in Press Enclave and alleged that an Army Major from 30 RR Zaloora Camp, Amandeep Singh has branded innocent youth as militants to get rewards and promotion.
The protestors told CNS that on Oct 26 (Sunday) Station House Officer Bomai asked some 8 youth, five from Gujarpati Zaloora and three from Harvan to report at police station. “All these 8 youth including two government employees and three borthers were handed over to police by their respective family members in my presence. These youth were shifted to counter insurgency centre Cargo in Srinagar for questioning, however, from there they were sent back to police station Bomai with the report that they are not connected to militancy,” village headman Zaloora Ghulam Nabi Mir said.
The protestors elaborated that when family members demanded the release of the youth, the police assured them that after fulfilling the formalities all will be released after few hours. They claimed that during the same evening, an Army Major from 30 RR namely Amandeep Singh arrived in police station in a private Sumo vehicle and physically tortured these youth. “Arms and ammunition procured by Army including pistols and grenades were placed on the table along with these youth and photographs were taken branding them as LeT militants,” they said adding that they were shocked when Army claimed that they arrested 8 LeT workers.
“Where from these arms and ammunition came when these youth were handed over to police by me,” village headman questioned and said they have raised the matter with the Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Inspector General Baramulla. He added that even SHO Boami was shocked the way army Major implicated these youth.
The scores of protestors, among which some were detained by police station Kotibagh when they tried to come on road, said that some of the arrested youth are highly qualified and government employees. They appealed Director General of Police to look into the matter and provide justice to these youth and their families. They identified these youth as Rayees Ahmed Bhat, Sajad Ahmed Bhat, Shabir Ahmed Kumar residents of Harvan, Hakimuddin Gujjar, Iqbal Gujjar, Qasim Gujjar (brothers), Zubir Ahmed Gujar and Muhammad Lateef. They said that one of the arrested person Hakimuddin Gujjar is 70 years old while Muhammad Lateef is handicapped.