SRINAGAR: Massive protests demonstrations have rocked Papachan Bandipora, after the mosque siege ended and no Kashmiri freedom fighter was found inside by police and troops. Protesters were only pacified after authorities assured that matter will be taken up with higher army authorities. According to sources, hundreds of people of Papachan and adjoining villages this morning blocked the Bandipora- Srinagar road and demanded an inquiry into the mosque siege.
The mosque was under siege since Monday evening and was searched by troops and police this morning but no militant was found. The mosque was also inundated by the troops and police yesterday evening.”We searched the mosque and found no militant,” a senior police officer said. He added that some arms of militants were found inside the mosque. “They escaped from the masjid before our cordon,” the officer said.
As the siege was lifted, people of Papachan and adjacent villages marched towards the mosque to take the stock of situation. “The water and gas of smoke shells is yet inside the mosque,” Abdul Rashid, a local, told Kashmir Times. After visiting the mosque people in hundreds rushed to Bandipore- Srinagar road and blocked it for four hours. Sources said, no vehicle was allowed to ply and people raised pro-freedom and anti-government slogans. Police tried to pacify the protestors, but failed as people were demanding an inquiry into the siege and inundation of mosque.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Bandipora Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmad told Kashmir Times that there are grievances of people against the army and those need to be addressed. He added, “Tomorrow we have a liaison meeting with army and I will take up the all issues of the people.” He said that people have complained of frisking and other things. “Army has to conduct the searches but those should be done within limits of humanity,” the deputy commissioner said. He said the mosque has suffered no damage and there the smell of gas is still inside the mosque.-SANA