Government forces on Sunday night arrested a man who had reportedly saved cops from militants in central Kashmir’s Ichgam area of Budgam district.
Villagers said that Ashraf Mir a mason by profession along with other locals had saved cops after militants were left fuming while finding no weapons in the police picket at Ichgam, “They were angry and would have killed the cops. But Ashraf Mir the mason came into the rescue of cops by persuading them that the cops were just low rank employees who were not at fault. Later after the requests of locals, militants left,” he said.
However, a day later government forces including SOG men and army entered the village and thrashed Ashraf and beat up his mother too, “ He is a father of three daughters,” a local said.
The locals expressed shock over the arrest of the mason who loclas described as ‘innocent’, “ It is unbelievable that someone who saved cops has been arrested,” an elderly local said.
The forces also created ruckus in the village, local sources said that at around 2 am at night on Sunday forces entered the village and resorted to ‘hooliganism’ breaking windowpanes of houses and vehicles, “ Those whose houses and vehicles have been damaged are very poor. They have no source of income,” locals said.
They said that even the glasses of mosques were smashed.
A local not wishing to be named said that they were targeted for no crime of theirs, “ It is a ploy to create fear among the villagers,” he said.
On being asked why the village was targeted, he said that the forces felt that the villagers had helped militants flee from the village after they had thrashed police personnel on 24 August.
The villagers rubbished the police allegation saying that the villagers had actually saved cops from being killed, “On august 24, militants beat up cops in the nearby police picket after finding no weapons in the custody of cops. Since they were enraged they beat the cops black and blue,” a local said.
SSP Budgam Tejinder Singh told the Kashmir Walla that investigations were going on and that the case was being examined.