Srinagar: Five youth were detained by government forces during a siege in Kareemabad, a village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, during the intervening night of 16 February and 17. The forces conducted door-to-door searches and vandalised property.
A local from Kareemabad told Narrator over phone that the forces detained five youth on Saturday morning after a siege was laid down in the entire surroundings of the village at around midnight. The villagers were made to stand in the open for the whole night, the local said.
“Door-to-door searches were made and we were asked to come out of our homes. They rummaged up our homes. This is the humiliation that we see almost everyday,” the local said who wishes not to be named for fear of reprisal for speaking to media about the siege.
He also said that the villagers were not even allowed to offer dawn prayers.
“They want to scare us by detaining youth. This morning, five youth were detained and we don’t know about their whereabouts,” the villager said.
The five youth detained, according to locals, are Muhammad Aurangzeb Pandith, Zubair Ahmad Pandith, Zahoor Ahmad, Mehraj-ud-Din and Rafi Abdullah.
An eyewitness alleged that the forces thrashed the family members of slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant Naseer Pandith.
Muhammad Aslam, SP Pulwama, said that an Army Major was recently injured in a stone-pelting incident in Kareemabad when an Army Domination Party (ADP) was moving in the area. This siege was in response to that incident, he added.
“We have videography that reveals the involvement of some youth in the incident. On that basis we have picked up the youth,” Aslam told Narrator.
He, however, said that they are ascertaining the fact whether the forces vandalised property during the siege or not.
Amit Kumar, in-charge DIG south Kashmir, could not be reached for comment as his phone was not reachable.
In a similar incident, minor clashes were reported on Friday from Drabgam village of Pulwama when the area was cordoned off by the forces after a specific information about the presence of militants in the village.
The youth, however, resisted the move and pelted stones at the forces, forcing them to retreat.
(Main picture is for representation)