Those Terrorizing Voters Will Face Action: CM

9 May 2014
Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: Day after incidents of thrashing of some voters were reported from Old Town Baramulla and Sopore, police launched a massive crackdown in these north Kashmir areas to 'nab the culprits' while the chief minister Omar Abdullah assured action against 'those who terrorize voters.' Police said taking a note of these incidents, five FIRs-three in police station Baramulla and two in police station Sopore-were lodged Friday. 'The miscreants involved in these acts of violence have been identified and special teams have been formed to arrest the culprits. A number of miscreants involved in these incidents have been arrested,' police said. Police said no such incident of violence against the people and passengers commuting will be tolerated and stringent action will be taken against the guilty. Reacting to the incidents of harassment and thrashing of people who voted in the LokSabha elections in north Kashmir on May 7, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while condemning the acts, warned of action against those who 'terrorise the voters.' 'First things first-the gangs moving around trying to terrorise those who voted will not be tolerated,' Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter. The CM said action will be taken against anyone found trying to 'terrorise voters' and the police have been instructed accordingly. 'Can't have freedom to choose not to vote without allowing people who want to vote a similar choice,' he added. BARAMULLA SHUT Complete shutdown was observed in Baramulla, Bandipora and Sopore towns of north Kashmir Friday to protest the arrest of local youth and alleged ransacking of residential houses by forces. According to reports, Baramulla town remained shut Friday after police arrested three persons during nocturnal raids and allegedly ransacked several residential houses besides damaging some vehicles. Police sources said the cops were on lookout for the youth involved in stone-pelting on the polling day in Baramulla and the thrashing of some people who had cast their vote. In Stadium Colony Baramulla, police raided the residential house of Ghulam-ud-Din Mir. Police according to family members went berserk and smashed glasses and other belongings during the raid. Police arrested 55 year old Ghulam-ud-Din and his son Muneer Ahmad after they failed to find Abdul Rashid, Ghulam-ud-Din's other son, who was allegedly involved in the stone-pelting. Family of Ghulam-ud-Din alleged that the police party during the raid decamped with jewelry worth 15 lakh and Rs 3 lakh cash. They also alleged that the household items including washing machine, fridge, LCD TV and other belongings were ransacked by the police. 'Police raided our house at around 2.15 am on Thursday. After assembling the womenfolk in a room, the police party snatched the keys of wardrobes and decamped with jewelry and cash. They smashed windowpanes and broke doors and windows before leaving the house,' said Abdul Rashid Mir, son of Ghulam-ud-Din. Police also conducted raids in GanaieHamam and KakarHamam areas of old town and allegedly ransacked some residential houses and damaged the vehicles parked outside the houses. In GanaieHamam police arrested 60 year old Abdul Rashid after failing to find his son allegedly involved in stone pelting. Family members of Rashid alleged that police ransacked the house and damaged windowpanes. Reports of damage to several vehicles including a Sumo and Tata Nano parked outside the residential houses in Old Town allegedly by police during the nocturnal raids Thursday night were also reported from the GanaieHamam. Arrests and nocturnal raids triggered protests in the area. On Friday morning scores of youth gathered in the town and staged demos against alleged highhandedness of police. The protesters led by BeoparMandalBaramulla latter gathered at the main ChowkBaramulla and staged sit-in there. BeoparMandal president while condemning the arrests and alleged police highhandedness said all the shops in the town will remain closed till the arrested youth are released. Meanwhile, a spokesperson of police while refuting the charges of theft of valuables and cash said that such allegations are aimed at defaming the police. Meanwhile a complete shutdown was also observed in Sopore and Bandipora towns against the continuous detention of youth in the town. Scores of youths gathered in Muslim Peer area of Sopore this morning and started pelting stones. However, police didn't retaliate and instead laid concertina wire spools and erected barricades to stop the youth from marching ahead. In Bomai area of Sopore, the shopkeepers downed their shutters and staged massive protests after a joint party of police and Special Operations Group arrested three persons on charges of stone-pelting on the polling day. The trio was identified as Mudasir Ahmed, Naseer Ahmed and Showkat Ahmed Bhat. Reports said no untoward incident was reported from main Sopore town after Friday prayers. Bandipora In Bandipora town a complete shutdown was observed against the arrest of youth. All the shops and business establishments remained closed while traffic was off the roads. People staged a protest in the town demanding release of the detained youth. Police have arrested scores of youth in the town on the charges of anti-poll protests and stone-pelting during the past few days. KNS ADDS Rebutting the allegations of Baramulla Traders Union, cops ransacked some houses and allegedly looted some belongings, the police Friday said that it will continue its chase against stone-pelters and those who beat up Uri inhabitants for voting. 'If the Traders Union allege that that their belongings have been looted, they should register their complaint before police. But if they think that by these allegations they will stop police from doing its duty and nabbing the wanted stone-pelters and hooligans who have harassed, intimidated and beat up some Uri inhabitants for casting their vote, I am sorry they are mistaken. We will continue our duty till these wanted stone pelters are brought to justice,' DIG North Kashmir Ghulam Hassan Bhat told KNS. Elaborating the police raids one some houses in old Town Baramulla, Bhat said: 'Yes we raided some houses but only after proper identification that these houses belong to stone pelters who have made the whole town hostage through their subversive activities. But we have not raided a single house unnecessarily.' Regarding Baramulla Traders Union's allegation about looting some valuables, Bhat said it is not a single police constable who raids a particular house but a full-fledged party supervised by a responsible officer. 'Even if there are any such complaints, the complainants should approach police and we enquire into them,' he added.