Govt forces vandalise civilian property in Anantnag after CASO, officials reject accusation

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Srinagar: The government forces’ personnel went berserk in Arwani village of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Tuesday morning damaging property of at least six houses in the area, the local residents alleged.

The forces personnel, according to the local residents, had started a cordon and search operation in the area at early morning. But while leaving, a local told The Kashmir Walla over phone, they started throwing stones at houses, breaking windows and vehicles also.

Another local, whose name we are withholding on request, told The Kashmir Walla that the forces personnel damaged his house without any reason. “They shattered glasses of my house and five others and didn’t even spare a mosque,” said the house owner.

A video of the incident has also gone viral on the social media, where army personnel can be seen breaking window panes of the house. However, a senior police official said that the video is not from the area or from that day. A legal investigation may begin into the circulation of the video.

Another eyewitness, who also requested to withhold his name fearing backlash, said that the army vandalised several houses, including a mosque. “Our women are now cleaning the mosque,” he said.

He also added that an elderly woman was also beaten up by the government forces personnel. “We come under Bijbehara police station and it is the SHO and DSP of that police station who harass us,” he alleged.

On being asked why the residents were being harassed during a pandemic by the army, he said, “This is Kashmir and we are being oppressed for our existence.”

However, the defence spokesperson Col. Rajesh Kalia told The Kashmir Walla that “no army personnel is involved in either ransacking or damaging any civilian property. The allegations are absolutely baseless.”

A local senior army officer, who controls the operations in the area, said that no such incident had taken place. “There was no CASO on that morning and there must be some misunderstanding,” he said.

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