Frequent militant attacks on security establishments in southern Kashmir areas have instilled fear among the residents living close to the security camps. The residents accuse government forces of thrashing, harassing and damaging their properties following the attacks.
“Whenever the attack occurs on any security camp or police station in our locality, the men in uniform come out from the camps and beat us mercilessly. They blame us for attacking their camps. They say that locals are giving shelter to militants to attack their camps,” said a local resident of Tral who wished not to be named. “They do not listen to our pleas and instead thrash and abuse us.”
Last year, during the holy month Ramadan multiple grenades were hurled at the CRPF camp 180 battalion Tral. Next day, a group of army soldiers and para-military troopers entered the residential houses and ruthlessly thrashed the inmates.
The local residents here have repeatedly asked the government to remove these security camps in the vicinity of residential areas. The locals said they are now planning to sell their properties and shift to other areas. “Our life has become hell. We shut the doors at 8 pm. We are not able to offer night prayers in our local mosque here,” said an elderly man from Kakapora Pulwama. “We fear an attack may occur anytime and we may get trapped in cross firing. If situation deteriorates further we may have to relocate to other places then.”
The residences of former MLAs and present MLAs have become the target of militants as well. Nearly dozens of attacks have taken place in the past few years. The legislators and their families said that they too are living in fear. In the wake of continuous militant strikes many such families have either settled in Srinagar or shifted to some other places. “I cannot move out of my house to see the condition of people. How can I move out when my house is lobbed with grenades?” said one of the local MLA.
A senior police official posted in Pulwama district said that militants are carrying out these attacks by lobbing UBGL grenades, petrol bombs and seldom fire directly towards the camps and police stations. As per police sources, most of the time militants are themselves carrying out the attacks and sometimes Over Ground Workers (OGWs) do it. In the past two years such militant strikes have increased. Most of these attacks take place in Pulwama, Tral, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag district.
In the past two days nearly eight grenade attacks were reported in Pulwama, Tral, Anantnag and Srinagar areas. The high alert was also sounded across the Valley ahead of Jang-e-Badr anniversary on 17th Ramadan.