AN ALTERCATION was reported between Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel on Friday night in Kupwara town of north Kashmir over a speeding car that was stopped and seized by the soldiers near a barricade. While some policemen alleged that Shabir Ahmad, the munshi of Kupwara police station who was present at the spot, was manhandled by soldiers from 41 Rashtriya Rifles, Kupwara SSP Shamsheer Hussain said there was “an altercation” but refused allegations that the policeman was beaten up.
On Friday night, sources said, a civilian tried to overtake a few cars near a police and Army barricade in Kupwara town and was flagged down by the RR personnel. They dragged out the driver, and as they allegedly manhandled him, Ahmad, a police official present at the spot, took objection to this “harassment”. “He (Ahmad) had to be taken to the Sub District Hospital in Kupwara,” a police source said.
Denying this, the SSP said, “The Armymen tried to stop the car but they (people in it) ran away, leaving the vehicle behind. The soldiers seized the car. When our official asked them to hand over the car to the police, they (soldiers) refused and said they would not hand it over until their commanding officer arrives. There was an altercation between them (over this).” But senior officers arrived there soon and “the matter was resolved amicably,” the SSP said. While some reports indicated that the Station House Officer (SHO) was also there, Singh said the SHO was not present at the spot. SHO, Kupwara, Mohammed Ashraf said the police are inquiring and checking facts since the incident took place late at night. “We have also taken up the issue with the General Officer Commanding (GOC),” he said. “The law will take its course.”
The Defence public relations officer did not respond despite repeated attempts. Last month, seven policemen were allegedly beaten up by Army personnel after the policemen stopped private vehicles carrying plainclothed soldiers at a checkpost in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. The police later registered a case against 24 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit personnel after the policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector who was on Amarnath Yatra duty, were injured.