Video clips of two purported incidents on Tuesday morning — one of school children crying after some Army personnel allegedly beat up their bus driver in Shopian and another of a traffic policeman bleeding after he was allegedly assaulted by soldiers on the outskirts of Srinagar — triggered protests in the Valley.
Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said the Army is “ascertaining the facts” regarding the two incidents.
Sources said the police have registered a case. “A case has been registered. A medical examination of the traffic policeman showed some injuries,” a police officer said. “There was a heated exchange between the Army personnel and the traffic policeman, after which he was thrashed. We have started an investigation into the case,” he said.
The children in the first video clip were identified as students of a school in Shopian. “The bus was on its way to school when the soldiers beat up the driver… It was barely 2 km away from school,” the school chairman alleged.
Gulzar Ahmad, 34, the driver, said: “When I was near the school, I saw some Army vehicles coming from the opposite direction. I had stopped to pick some children. I saw soldiers beating up people on the road. Suddenly, one of them hit me with his cane on the head, just above the eye.”
He alleged the soldiers also hit a woman teacher who was on the bus. “They hit her with the butt of a gun,” he said. “When the children saw this, they started crying. The soldiers told them to be silent.”
The second video clip showed a traffic policeman bleeding after he was allegedly assaulted by some soldiers at Nowgam, on Srinagar outskirts. The policeman was reportedly manning the Srinagar-Jammu l highway. Soon after the incident, people assembled at the spot and raised slogans.