A Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) has sought for an FIR to be lodged against some Army personnel for allegedly manhandling and resorting to violence against him and his officials while they were on duty for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in South Kashmir.
Dooru SDM Ghulam Rasool Wani has alleged that they were obstructed from performing their official duties.
As per Rasool’s complaint to Station House Officer of Qazigund, the alleged assault took place on the Srinagar-Qazigund stretch of the National Highway in Dalwach area at 10.40 am on April 16. Rasool further said that he was “picked up by collar abused and dragged upto about 20 meters and thrashed on gun point”.
“As per the directions of worthy deputy commissioner Anantnag to reach Vessu Qazigund for resolving matter of traffic, truck congestion on National highway at 10:40 a.m. I along with my team of officials were coming from Dooru via Ujroo crossing in government vehicle (BOLERO) and it was found that the army personnel deployed on the highway had stopped all the civilian traffic despite of not being the restricted day for army convoys,” Rasool said in a letter written to SHO.
“After introducing myself to the army personnel, we were allowed to move towards Vessu but at Dalwach crossing near under’ construction bridge, we were again stopped by some army personnel and asked not to proceed forward unless the Army convoy passes ends,” he added.
Rasool also said that his driver was dragged out by the army personnel and was beaten ruthlessly. “Despite being stationery one of the army personnel namely Viney Kumar came down heavily on my driver and beat him ruthlessly besides damaging the government vehicle,” he said, adding “when I intercepted for safety of my driver, pleading that I am Sub Divisional Magistrate Dooru…. I was picked up by collar, abused and dragged upto about 20 meters and thrashed on gun point. My cell phone and driver’s cell phone were snatched and broken into pieces.”
Stating that their cell phones were also snatched and damaged by the army personnel, Rasool wrote: “Not only this, all of us were taken hostage on gun point for about half an hour and our vehicle and other belongings were searched damaged and all the data about election were deleted, damaged and removed and didn’t allow us to convey the incident to senior officers. The army personnel removed their safety locks of their weapons and aimed guns at us, threatening to kill us.”
According to Rasool, they were set free after Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag reached the spot.
“It is requested that FIR be lodged against the security personnel under the relevant provisions of law for manhandling, intimidating and resorting to violence against the undersigned and my officials and obstructing us from performing our official duties including that of election duties, he said.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal have come out in support of Rasool and demanded strict action against the army personnel.
“News of physical assault on SDM Duroo by Army is very shocking. If true, DC/SSP Anantnag should immediately register an FIR and arrest the erring personnel. It is hoped that AFSPA won’t come in the way of IPC/RPC and the action will be taken,” Faesal wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Mufti tweeted, “Army thrashing civilians in the state is nothing new. But manhandling civil officers marks a new low. The valley & its people are being choked to a silent death. For how long will you oppress them in their own land? Is this what we deserve for choosing India over Pakistan?”