Police beat up girl at quarantine facility in Budgam, say eyewitnesses

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police clashed with people inside the quarantine facility in Nagam Polytechnic College, Chadoora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, and injured a 19-year-old girl, after the quarantined people and their relatives questioned the administration of delaying the COVID-19 test reports. 

On Friday, nearly at 11 am, the people at the quarantine facility came out in the courtyard to “protest against the delayed reports,” a 25-year-old student at the facility told The Kashmir Walla. “We were tested [for COVID-19] on 13 [May], but the results haven’t come yet.” He further claimed that a few people who came later were tested and allowed to return home.

When people were raising questions against the administration peacefully, the student said, the police barged inside the premises. One of the eyewitnesses, a 23-year-old student of medicine, added that they were protesting “while maintaining social distancing.” 

“Then one of the policemen came running [towards the assembled crowd] and cocked his gun towards the boys,” she said. “He hurled abuses and then hit a girl on her chest and chin with his baton and broke her phone.” 

She also questioned, “How did the police barge inside [the facility], there are families, including women and girls, living here.”

In a video sent to The Kashmir Walla by the eyewitnesses, two policemen can be seen entering into the building while hurling abuses.

People at the quarantine facility have different travel histories. When brought here on 13 May, the 23-year-old student alleged that the facilities were “very bad and unhygienic”. “Men and women had to share a washroom and there was no hand wash,” she said.

Mohammad Maqbool Yatoo, the nodal officer for the quarantine facility, claimed that he wasn’t at the spot when police came inside. “A few people were saying that their samples have not been taken and there were issues about cleanliness,” he told The Kashmir Walla. “Then the police came and these people were raising slogans so they hit the girl.”

Naseer Ahmed Parray, Tehsildar at Chadoora, however, told The Kashmir Walla, “Police did not beat her up, but was guiding the crowd to disperse [the assembled crowd]. And everything is normal now, and the medical check-up has started [at the facility].”

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