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JEHANGIR ALI | 19 AUGUST, 2017

Army Turns on Police in Kashmir?

JEHANGIR ALI


SRINAGAR: Two Jammu and Kashmir police officials, including a station house officer, were allegedly assaulted by the Army personnel in north Kashmir's Kupwara district yesterday, sparking resentment in the force that has been at the forefront of counter-insurgency ops in Kashmir.

According to police sources, Army men from 41 Rashtriya Rifles thrashed the two policemen when they objected to the "harassment" of a civilian who was asked to come out of his vehicle outside the deputy commissioner's office in Kupwara yesterday "unnecessarily".

"When the policemen objected to the unnecessary harassment of civilians, the Army personnel caught hold of one of them identified as Shabir Ahmad and beat him up severely," a senior police officer said, adding that the victim was taken to sub district hospital in Kupwara.

Reports said the Army personnel even cocked their guns and tried to open fire at the cop but the station house officer, Tariq Ahmad, came in front of Shabir and asked them to shoot him first before killing his subordinate.

SSP Kupwara Samsher Hussain said a scuffle had broken out in the area between police and army soldiers, "The matter has been resolved. It was a minor scuffle due to some misunderstanding between the two sides. There is no bad blood," he said.

The Army's Srinagar based defence spokesperson could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.

The incident comes less than a month after several policemen, including an officer, were injured when around 150 Army soldiers, mostly belonging to 24 Rashtriya Rifles, entered into a police station in central Kashmir and thrashed them severally, resulting in many hospital admissions.

The thrashing came after the police personnel had stopped a cavalcade of private vehicles ferrying the Army soldiers from the base camp of Amarnath pilgrimage in Ganderbal district during "off hours".

The incident had sparked resentment in the police force but the matter, according to officials, was "resolved amicably". The Army, police and paramilitary forces carry out counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir jointly.

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