Srinagar: An FIR was registered against an army party on Wednesday based on a complaint received from a magistrate-level officer who alleged that he was assaulted by the personnel while on election duty in south Kashmir’s Qazigund.
The FIR was registered under sections 323 and 341 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), police officials told News18.
Dooru sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ghulam Rasool Wani had on Tuesday alleged that an army party assaulted him and four other officials while they were travelling in his official vehicle near Ujroo area of Qazigund for an election-related meeting. He alleged that his vehicle was damaged and the driver was also beaten up.
Wani had filed a written complaint against army, stating that he was “dragged by the collar, kicked and abused” by army personnel when he tried to intervene after his driver was dragged and beaten.
“The army personnel removed safety locks of their weapons and aimed guns at us, threatening to kill us and it was only after the Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag reached the spot that we were set free,” the officer wrote in the complaint.
“It is requested that FIR be lodged against the security personnel under the relevant provisions of law for manhandling, intimidating and resorting to violence against the undersigned and my officials and obstructing us from performing our official duties, including that of election duties,” he wrote.
The officer also alleged that when he tried to call the deputy commissioner of Anantnag, whom he was supposed to meet, army men snatched the phones of him and his driver.
The episode reportedly unfolded when the army had stopped civilian traffic on the highway.
“The army personnel deployed on the highway had stopped all civilian traffic,” the officer said. “After I introduced myself, the army allowed us to move, but there was another army party ahead which thrashed us.”
The highway has been closed to civilian traffic in Kashmir every Sunday and Wednesday, with only forces being allowed to move. However, on the day of the alleged assault, the highway was open to civilians but traffic was halted for the convoy movement
The Kashmir Administrative Services (KAS) officers’ association condemned the incident and raised the matter with higher authorities.
“We have taken up the issue with higher authorities for lodging of FIR in the matter and for getting it investigated on fast-track basis so that the guilty are punished under the law,” the association said in a statement.
The army was yet to issue a statement, but a Srinagar-based spokesperson said the matter is being investigated.