‘Vandalization’ of Kashmir martyrs graveyard sparked protest

South Kashmir shuts to mourn the killing of two militants

Karimabad (South Kashmir): A Muslim graveyard was vandalized in Karimabad hamlet of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday night while locals who staged protest against the disgraceful act held government forces responsible, a charge vehemently refuted by security establishment.

As the word about vandalization of the grave yard spread in the area, hundreds of people including women hit the road and stage a massive protest. Locals alleged that during the dead of the night government forces arrived in the hamlet to take possession of the torched police vehicle and during the process some of the what they said ‘unbridled’ forces personnel vandalized the graveyard. “They caused damage to fencing, signs erected near graves and even cut down the apple trees adjacent to the grave yard,” the locals alleged.

“I am finished as the Army have cut down the branches my scores of apple trees,” said Zaina Begum.

A local Auqaf member Ghulam Nabi Gulistan told CNS that government forces even did not spare the dead. “We have decided to observe the strike till Sunday against this vandalism. And if the government did not apologize, we will hit the roads from Monday onwards. We will not act as mute spectators. Disrespect to our dead is intolerable,” he said.  “It’s despicable and it seems as if the people who did this have no regard for the deceased or the fact it’s a very emotional place,” he added.

Terming the allegations baseless, SP Pulwama Rayees Ahmed Bhat told CNS they are investigating the matter. He said security forces don’t resort to such actions. “It might be the handiwork of miscreants who want to disrupt the peace,” he said.

Badamibagh based Defense Spokesperson Colonel NN Joshi also termed the allegations baseless and said that never on earth Army can disrespect the dead. He said that Indian Army is a secular organization that respects all religions. “This allegation is not factual but baseless aimed at to malign the good image of Indian Army,” he said.

Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama and Shopian district to mourn the death of two local militants. All the shops and business establishments remained shut while transport also remained off the roads. (CNS)

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