HomeLatest NewsFormer J&K CM Mehbooba claims villagers near Poonch ambush site tortured; officials...

Former J&K CM Mehbooba claims villagers near Poonch ambush site tortured; officials confirm 10 civilians in hospital – Times of India

SRINAGAR: Former J&K CM and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti raised serious allegations on Monday, claiming that people from nearby areas of the December 21 terrorist ambush site in Poonch district have been detained and tortured during questioning.
This follows the discovery of bodies of three men from Topa Peer village near the ambush site on December 22, leading to allegations that they died in Army custody. Villagers had confirmed that the trio was among those detained for questioning after the terrorist attack that left four soldiers dead.
“There are perturbing reports coming from Poonch. They have not only taken people into custody from one particular area but also from Thana Mandi, Pargai, and adjoining hamlets. They have been subjected to harsh treatment and many are in critical condition in hospitals,” Mehbooba said in Srinagar, where she claims to be under house arrest.
Official sources on Monday confirmed that 10 injured civilians are receiving treatment in hospitals in the Poonch-Rajouri sector. They clarified that the condition of the injured is stable.
Mehbooba accused the authorities of treating people like “enemies of the state”, alleging: “They beat people, torture them in custody, make a video, and circulate it. It is common sense that a civilian cannot make a video in Army custody and circulate it. They want to convey this message to the people that this is what we are capable of doing. How much fear do they want to instil in us?” She was referring to a video circulating on social media, purportedly showing men in uniform mistreating people detained for questioning.
The PDP chief highlighted the case of Farooq from Thana Mandi, saying he is in a hospital with torture wounds. In 2005, terrorists attacked Farooq and his family, resulting in the death of five members. “What more sacrifice can a person give for the country? Now they have arrested him and tortured him to the extent that he is struggling for life in a hospital,” she said.
Mehbooba claimed she wasn’t allowed to step out of her house, despite seeking permission to visit Poonch and meet the “families of the victims”. The three civilian deaths prompted an investigation, and the J&K administration announced compensation and jobs for the deceased’s families.
According to official sources, the search operation continued near the ambush site on Monday, with troops securing all routes in the thickly forested area to prevent terrorists from escaping towards the LoC and crossing over to Pakistan. Mobile internet services remained suspended in Poonch and Rajouri for the third consecutive day.

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