Hundreds of villagers from Banzoo area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district Monday staged a protest demanding action against government forces who according to them not only thrashed people but also ransacked houses during nocturnal Cordon and Search Operation.
Bandzoo village is barely two kilometres away from District Police Lines Pulwama that was attacked by militants on Saturday killing eight personnel.
According to protesters who blocked vehicular movement on the road on Monday morning, soldiers from 55 Rashtriya Rifles, SOG and CRPF personnel cordoned off the village during the dead of the night and forced people to come out from their houses.
“We were directed to assemble at one place while government forces thoroughly searched the houses and cow-sheds. During the 3 hour long search operation, forces checked the identity cards of people while they didn’t find militant,” the protesters told local news agency.
They alleged that after the culmination of search operation, an army party entered the village again and thrashed locals irrespective of sex and age. “It was a hell like situation. The army men beat us up with gun butts. Over a dozen people suffered injuries. The forces personnel without any provocation ransacked houses and inflicted major losses upon locals. They damaged doors, windows, electronic gadgets and parked vehicles. We don’t understand what our fault was and why they have been doing this,” they said.
The protesters demanded stern action against the soldiers involved in the mayhem.
A police official feigned ignorance about the incident while efforts to contact Defense Spokesperson didn’t fructify.