The government forces cordoned the house of a senior leader of People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) on Monday night, “suspecting the presence of militants,” alleged the family.
Talking to The Kashmir Walla, Nawab Madni, the son of jailed PDP leader Sartaj Madni, alleged that the “army directed the family members to come out at midnight, thrashed local boys in the neighbourhood and forced them to check the house for them”.
The alleged incident happened after the family had registered a complaint with police of a theft-attempt at their house in south Kashmir’s Qazigund. “Some unknown person had broken into the home by cutting the net-windows,” he said over a phone call. “They scattered everything inside the home but didn’t steal anything.”
“On the evening of Shab-e-Baraat, a policeman called me around 12 pm and told me that they wanted to switch on all the lights,” said Madni. “They had some inputs about militant activity. I believe they were preparing for an encounter. However, they didn’t go inside … they gathered local boys, beat them up, and made them check the house.”
A senior police official also confirmed to The Kashmir Walla about the registration of a theft-related case. However, he denied any cordon and search operation at Madni’s house. “Nothing like that has happened. Generally, we do domination. The army goes around on domination too. We do area domination in our areas, to keep militants at run to prevent attacks and restrain their movement,” the police official said. “In our peripheral areas, our forces go every evening on area domination for prevention and detection of militancy-related crimes.”
The house has been the ancestral home of Sartaj Madni, ancestrally; however, post the abrogation of limited-autonomy of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, the family had moved to a different house. “Only my uncle and his family were residing in this house,” he said.
Mehbooba Mufti, the president of the PDP and a former chief minister, said: “Army from RR Camp Devsar raided the house of PDPs Sartaj Madni. The place was turned upside down and these personnel also thrashed boys. Its shameful that they violated all rules and code of conduct with such impunity.”
Sartaj Madni is currently under detention by the Jammu and Kashmir administration. He was detained along with another senior leader, Naeem Akhtar, on 21 December 2020, a day before counting of votes for District Development Council (DDC) polls in the erstwhile state. On 26 March 2021, both the leaders completed hundred days under detention