Army men enter Koil Jamia Masjid, thrash, injure faithful; police deny

Funeral of slain Tawseef Ahmad Wani, a 22-year-old civilian, shot dead by armed forces on June 22, 2017 in Kakpora in Pulwama. (FPK Photo/Vikar Syed)

Srinagar: The local populace of a village in Pulwama on Thursday alleged that several of Indian army men entered a Jamia Masjid thrashing the faithful which resulted in injuries to them.

However, when people protested, the army men opened fire injuring a ninth standard student who has been shifted to SKIMS Soura for treatment.

Speaking to the FreePressKashmir, a local of Koil said that around Asr (Muslim prayer time in between mid-day and dusk) –around 4 pm, two big bullet/mine proof vehicles of Indian army stopped near Markazi Jamia Masjid Koil.

“Two casspirs stopped from which scores of army men came down and entered the Jamia Masjid,” the local, wishing to remain anonymous, said.

Koil is 5 km from main town Pulwama situated on Air Force station road.

He said that army men belonged to 55 RR of Indian Army. They are based in Malangpora area of the district, he added.

He said that at least thirteen Muslims of the area are holding Eitiqaaf in the ongoing holy Ramzan.

Muslims, voluntarily, stay completely inside Masjids in the last days of Ramzan every year during which they involve themselves in prayers.

This practice is known as Eitiqaaf, which is an Arabic word. They come to their homes on the morning of Eid-ul-Fitr.

“The army men beat up eleven of them,” he informed. They were staying on the first floor of the Jamia Masjid.

“Three of them were injured,” he said.

He identified some of the Eitiqaaf holders as Zahid Nazir, Shruim, Inayat, Zahoor Ahmad, Younus Ganaie, Towseef Ahmad, Waseem Raja, Adil Farooq, Sheeraz Ahmad.

“Shruim, Zahid Nazir and Zahoor Ahmad were injured in the forces action,” he claimed. “The army men broke chair on their back such was the highhandedness.”

Shruim is son of a J&K police cop who was killed during 2016 public uprising.

Another youth, who is student, alleged that the army men damaged infrastructure including doors and windows of the Masjid.

“When people heard about the incident, they rushed towards Jamia Masjid and in desperation the army men opened fire inuring a ninth standard student,” he said.

Another man, who is in his forties, was injured as his leg was broken, they alleged. He was identified as Ab Ahad.

The student who was hit by bullet in shoulder was identified as Kamran Mohi-ud-Din.

Kamran was rushed to a local hospital before being shifted to SKIMS Soura for advanced treatment.

Efforts to reach Srinagar based defence spokesperson, Colonel Rajesh Kalia failed as he did not respond to repeated calls from the FreePressKashmir.

Early in the day, a civilian from Tengpuna village of the district was killed by the armed forces when clashes erupted following death of three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants during an encounter in Kakpora early this morning.

The slain youth was identified as Tawseef Ahmad Wani who was booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) twice in 2016 and 2010 during public uprisings.

A police official posted in Pulwama confirmed that army was present in the area. However, he denied that the army men entered the Jamia. “A Casspir came under stone pelting attack following which the army men resorted to aerial firing in which one youth was injured.”

Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Gh Muhammad Dar told the FreePressKashmir, “SSP Pulwama was on spot (after the incident) who told me that the army vehicles came under stone pelting attack.”

Dar said that “he has no other information” regarding the incident.

SSP Pulwama, Aslam Choudhary, could not be contacted as his number was “does not exist/switched off”.

The cell phone of DIG JKP’s south Kashmir range, S P Pani, was switched off.

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