At least two persons received bullet injuries when Army allegedly resorted to firing at Ashmuqam area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district to disperse people who were accusing them of harassment in the name of militancy. The incident sparked shutdown and protest in the area.Locals alleged that Army launched a crackdown to scuttle the move of the people to reshuffle the local Auqaf body. “In a bid to dissolve the old Auqaf body, a reshuffle was proposed on Tuesday. District Development Commissioner was supposed to supervise the proceedings. Some vested interest elements mostly the members of the previous Auqaf body used Army to scuttle the move of the majority of the people. In the name of militancy, Army barged into houses and let loose a reign of terror. Army resorted to ransacking and beat people to pulp. The operation was not launched to flush out any militant (that was not present in the area) but it was aimed at to scuttle the move of the people to reshuffle the Auqaf Committee,” locals alleged.The locals said that these vested interest elements are hand in glove with district and police administration official. “They are enjoying the patronage of some officials. They know the new Auqaf body will expose their ‘wrong doings’. Army was supposed to nab or neutralize militants but they violated all the norms and damaged property. When we tried to question their action, they pumped bullets into the bodies of two youth,” the locals said.
Locals identified the two injured youth as Muhammad Amir son of Assadullah and Javaid Ahmed son of Muhammad Iqbal. Amir has bullet injury in his hand while bullet hit Javaid in his shoulder. Shortly after the incident civil and police administration led by District Development Commissioner Anantnag Muneer-ul-Islam rushed to spot to assess the situation. Terming the incident unfortunate, the officials assured a thorough probe into the incident while police was directed to lodge and FIR against the Army. Confirming the incident, a police official said that Army have been charged for attempt to murder and a formal case has been registered in police station Ashmuqam. When contacted, DC Anantnag Muneer-ul-Islam said: “I visited the spot myself. Army have refuted the allegations that they fired on the protesters. We recorded statements that were controversial. Police said on specific information area was cordoned off and people resorted to intense stone-pelting while locals alleged that only specific houses were targeted. We have constituted a committee led by ADC and he has been asked to submit report within 15 days. A formal case has been lodged against Army,” District Development Commissioner told CNS. Badami Bagh based spokesperson Colonel NN Joshi said he doesn’t know anything about the incident. (CNS)