A Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) was allegedly thrashed and detained by Army on Tuesday near the Qazigund area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Ghulam Rasool Wani, the SDM was travelling along with his four colleagues when the incident took place. Police later filed an FIR in the case. Wani is also the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) in South Kashmir for the elections.
“As per the directions of worthy deputy commissioner Anantnag to reach Vessu Qazigund for resolving matter of traffic, truck congestion on National highway at 10:40 a.m., I along with my team of officials were coming from Dooru via Ujroo crossing in government vehicle BOLERO) and it was found that the army personnel deployed on the highway had stopped all the civilian traffic despite of not being the restricted day for army convoys,” he said in application to SHO Qazigund for registered of FIR . “After introducing myself to the army personnel, we were allowed to move towards Vessu but at Dalwach crossing near under' construction bridge, we were again stopped by some army personnel and asked not to proceed forward unless the Army convoy passes ends,” he said.
Wani says, he said his driver stopped the vehicle and were on halt. “Despite being stationery one of the army personnel namely Viney Kumar came down heavily on my driver and beat him ruthlessly besides damaging the government vehicle,” he said, adding “when I intercepted for safety of my driver, pleading that I am Sub Divisional Magistrate Dooru…. I was picked up by collar, abused and dragged upto about 20 meters and thrashed on gun point. My cell phone and driver's cell phone were snatched and broken into pieces.”
He further said that the army man with other two army men got my other employees down from the vehicle and thrashed them ruthlessly and their cell phones were also snatched and damaged. “Not only this, all of us were taken hostage on gun point for about half an hour and our vehicle and other belongings were searched damaged and all the data about election were deleted, damaged and removed and didn’t allow us to convey the incident to senior officers,” he said, adding, “
The army personnel removed the safety locks of their weapons and aimed guns at us, threatening to kill us.”
It was only after the Deputy Commissioner Anantnag reached that the SDM and other employees were set free.
‘They removed safety locks of weapons and aimed guns at us’, alleges Valley SDM on poll duty
The government has ordered no civilian traffic movement on most part of the 300-km long National Highway on Sunday and Wednesday from 4 am to 5 pm every week till May 31, 2019, in view of the possibility of terror attack on security forces' convoys during the Lok Sabha elections. The prohibition on movement of civilian traffic on these two days of each week would be from Baramulla through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar-Tunnel, Banihal and Ramban till Udhampur, an official government statement said.