Duroo Sub-divisional Magistrate Ghulam Rasool Wani on Tuesday accused Army personnel of assaulting him and four of his subordinates while they were on election duty in Jammu and Kashmir, reports said. In his complaint, Wani claimed that he was on his way to Vessu to monitor poll preparations when the incident occurred on the national highway in the Srinagar-Qazigund area.
Meanwhile, Defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said the authorities concerned are looking into the matter, The Indian Express reported. Kulgam Superintendent of Police Gurinderpal Singh confirmed that a case had been registered. However, several local reports claimed that a first information report is yet to be filed in the case.
The sub-divisional magistrate said that he has written a letter about the matter to the Qazigund police station and sent copies to the chief electoral officer in Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir divisional commissioner, South Kashmir Director Inspector General, Anantnag Deputy Commissioner and Kulgam Senior Superintendent of Police.
Wani also alleged that the personnel damaged the official vehicle they were travelling in. “I got a call from district magistrate to come to Vessu,” The Indian Express quoted the complainant as saying. “As we headed towards the destination in our official vehicle [which had the Jammu and Kashmir government and SDM Dooru board on display] we were let off at several checkpoints by the forces personnel on Srinagar-Jammu highway.” He said Army personnel halted civilian traffic in the area without a reason.
He said a group of Army officials stopped them near Dalwach at Ujroo crossing at Qazigund. “Some army men wearing black uniforms surrounded our official vehicle and thrashed the driver,” Wani said. “When I came down to introduce myself, the Army men grabbed my collar and dragged me to some distance. The army men then assaulted the three other officials who were with me.”
The sub-divisional magistrate claimed that he tried to reason with them by citing his status as a government employee. “Instead, they pointed guns at us and threatened to kill all of us while using abusive language,” Wani was quoted as saying. “They also snatched my and driver’s phone and broke those into pieces. The Army men also took away poll documents. It was only after Deputy Commissioner Anantnag reached the spot that we were set free.”
Meanwhile, many government employees staged a protest to oppose the incident and claimed that they would boycott poll duties till action was taken against those found guilty, Kashmir Observer reported.