Cops become object of hate
As the deadly street battles between security forces and protestors since June 11 show no signs of ending, the local police are facing the brunt of mob fury. HT reports.india Updated: Aug 03, 2010 23:10 IST
As the deadly street battles between security forces and protestors since June 11 show no signs of ending, the local police are facing the brunt of mob fury.
Apart from attacking government property, protestors are targeting homes of policemen, particularly in south Kashmir.
On Monday, a mob burnt the house of a policeman at Wachi in south Kashmir's Anantnag district after a teenager, Basharat Ahmad Reshi, died in police firing.
Locals allege that the policeman who pulled the trigger hails from the same village as Reshi.
In a village in Pulwama district, hundreds of protesters marched towards the house of a member of the police's special operations group to burn it down. The youngsters dispersed when elders in the area intervened, but not before setting household items ablaze.
In both cases, however, the families of the policemen were not hurt.
In the last four days, protesters have burnt more than a dozen government buildings including police stations, tehsil offices, special operation group's camps and railway stations.
"CRPF personnel are outsiders but policemen are sons of the soil. Despite being aware of the pain of the people, they (policemen) are inflicting more hurt," said a 25-year-old resident of Pulwama.
Since the latest unrest started, people in south Kashmir have repeatedly accused members of the special operations group of barging into homes of residents.
"They misbehave with our women, beat our children," the resident said.
After three people were killed in police and CRPF firing on July 6 in Batamaloo, Srinagar announcements were made in mosques asking policemen staying in rented homes to leave their houses.
"There have been attacks (on the police) but that has not deterred the morale of the men," said DIG (south Kashmir) Showkat Watali.
"We have 100 per cent attendance."
Even before the current wave of protests there were instances of policemen going on leave to north Kashmir singled out in buses and thrashed by locals.
"I have created a fake civilian identity card to face such a situation," said a police constable.