Residents of south Kashmir’s Heff and Shirmal villages on Wednesday accused the Army and police of ransacking their houses during a cordon-and-search operation on Wednesday. Even as the search was in progress, they protested and blamed the security forces for manhandling relatives of youths, who have joined militancy. The operation continued for several hours before it was called off. The residents blamed the Army and the police for using force to disperse protesting villagers. The villagers alleged many civilians sustained injuries.
A police spokesperson denied the allegations and said the operation was launched to flush out holed-up militants. “During the operation, maximum restrain was exercised by the troops while dealing with miscreants who tried to disrupt the operation at Heff.’’ The spokesperson said the operation concluded as planned, and no one was injured.
This was the second such operation since May 5 in Heff and Shirmal villages. On Tuesday, the Army had resorted to aerial firing in Okey village when women protesters had tried to disrupt a search operation.