Srinagar: Two policemen, including an officer, were thrashed by Army men in Handwara town of Kupwara district this morning.
Eyewitnesses told hat Sub-Inspector, Vinay Kumar and Constable, Mohammad Majnoon were on their way to Handwara town when a Road Opening Party (ROP) of Army ordered them to stop near the Braripora residence of Superintendent of Police (SP) Kupwara, this morning. The Army reportedly told the cops to park their vehicle on the road side to pave way for the Army convoy. However, the cops ignored the Army dictate and tried to proceed towards their destination.
â€œAn Army man came and slapped the driver. When his superior objected to the Army high-handedness, he was thrashed too,â€ an eyewitness, wishing not to be named due to fear of reprisal from the Army, told.
â€œSoon half a dozen Army men pounced on the cops and beat them with bamboo sticks and gun butts. The hapless cops were pleading before them. Due to severe beating the driver fell unconscious,â€ he added.
When the news reached main town, scores of people took to streets and staged anti-Army demonstrations. Chanting slogans, the protesters alleged that Army leaves no opportunity to harass and humiliate the residents.
â€œThis is the height of highhandedness. After civilians, Army is now beating the uniformed men. It seems Army is ruling the state,â€ Ghulam Qadir, a protester said.
Army, he said, stops civilian vehicles or school buses to ply on the highway when the convoy passes through the town. Many a times, he said, civilians are thrashed for â€˜violating the dictatesâ€™
â€œThe irony is that Army doesnâ€™t even allow ambulances to ply on the highway. The patients are left in writhing pain for several hours, till the convoy passes,â€ he said.
Senior police officials of the district refused to comment on the incident.