The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Minister files FIR after search abuse

Srinagar June 25: The state deputy power minister yesterday witnessed what ordinary people in his constituency are subjected to during search operations.

Javed Mustafa Mir was on a routine visit to Chadoora in central Kashmir when he learnt of a search operation being jointly conducted by Rashtriya Rifles and Border Security Force in the area.

The minister got down from his bullet-proof car to meet the residents who had been rounded up in an open field for an identification parade.

“I told the security forces to conduct searches without harassing locals,” Mir said.

Instead, he saw them pick up five boys from the group and abuse them. “One of them was beaten,” the minister said.

“I could not tolerate this and I told the army officers not to harass the locals. However, the soldiers misbehaved with me without any provocation,” Mir said.

The minister later went to the Chadoora police and filed an FIR.

Mir added: “After my return here, I spoke to the chief secretary. I told him to take up the matter with senior security officers. The officer and soldiers who were involved in the incident should be shifted from the area.”

Mir’s father, a former MLA, was gunned down by militants in 1990.

Elsewhere, a student’s death in a mine blast during a search operation at Wahipora triggered massive protests yesterday afternoon. Police said the explosion in the northern Kupwara district killed Mushtaq Ahmad War on the spot and seriously wounded another civilian. The death led villagers to demand a high-level probe.

The district magistrate visited the area later and persuaded the villagers to disperse after promising a judicial probe.

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