In Valley, mob fury targets J-K Police

12 August 2008
The Indian Express
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: As violent protests spread across the Valley, the J-K Police are becoming the target of angry mobs. In the past two days, a police station was torched and many police vehicles set afire by the protestors. Moreover, many other police stations and posts have been attacked since Monday. On Monday, hundreds of protestors, blaming the police for opening fire on the civilians at Chahal, killing four persons, attacked the Sheeri police station on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road and set it ablaze. Records and furniture were reduced to ashes as the police personnel ran for safety. Hours later, protestors torched the residence of Sheeri SHO Khursheed Ahmed Khan on the outskirts of Baramulla town. On Monday, the crowd also attacked a police contingent, which had put up barricades at Sangrama to prevent the march to Muzaffarabad. They also burnt two police vehicles after the police opened fire on the mob killing a civilian. After an ASP was injured, the policemen were forced to retreat. During the past 48 hours, there have been attempts to burn down police stations in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Sopore and Patten. But the police managed to disperse the protestors. While the police station at Qamarwari in Srinagar was attacked on Monday, a police vehicle was torched in Kupwara district on Tuesday. “The anger against the police in Kashmir is on expected lines,” said Sheik Zahoor, a businessman from old city. “While they show restrain in tackling protests in Jammu, they shower bullets on peaceful protesters in the Valley. They are not adopting a single yardstick to handle the situation in both regions, that is why we are angry with the police,” he added. The police, however, maintain that they are showing maximum restrain. “Despite being targeted we are showing utmost restrain,” a senior police officer said.