Excelsior CorrespondentJAMMU, July 13: Protests broke out in Gulabgarh area of Padder block of Kishtwar district today after two 12th class girl students went missing following their questioning by the police, with mob damaging Police Station and beating up SHO and Naib Tehsildar. Following daylong violent demonstrations, the administration ordered enquiry into the incident and attached the concerned SHO.
Reports said that two girls---Sapna, daughter of Nand Lal and Sangita, daughter of Janki Nath were sitting near the bank of River Chenab at Gulabgarh along with their class mate Pardeep Kumar alias Ramu, son of Amar Chand last evening when suddenly some cops reached there and took them to Police Station for `normal’ questioning.
As girls were known to some local cops at Police Station and trio revealed that they were studying in 12th class at Government Higher Secondary School Atholi, police first allowed the girls to leave for their homes and then boy. But after leaving police station, the girls went missing and the incident came to fore when the boy narrated entire episode to his parents.
Though the parents of the girls and the villagers tried their level best to trace the missing girls throughout night yet to of no avail and in the morning only sleepers of the girls were recovered from the bank of river Chenab.
As the news spread, a complete bandh was observed in Gulabgarh town and hundreds of people gathered outside the Police Station to ascertain as to what prompted the police to take girls to police station and where they had gone after leaving the police station. The mob gheroed the police station and resorted to stone pelting from all sides. They also badly damaged the official gypsy of the SHO Inspector Farooq Ahmed Wani.
Reports said that when a sentry on duty opened fire in the air to disperse the mob, he was severely thrashed by the agitating people. Sensing the gravity of the situation, the SHO tried to escape from the backyard of the police station but he was chased away by the mob and beaten up severely before being rescued by some Territorial Army personnel in the camp adjoining the police station.
As anger was running high over absence of senior police and civil officers like SDPO and Tehsildar, who were at Kishtwar since yesterday, the mob also assaulted Naib Tehsildar Bal Krishan Badyal when he tried to pacify the agitating people. The violent protest demonstration continued till late in the afternoon when Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were deployed in the area.
Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, G R Bhagat and SP Kishtwar, Dr Haseeb Mughal also rushed to Gulabgarh and assured the agitating people that an enquiry will be conducted into the conduct of cops and missing of the girls.
But, the agitating people were stressing that SHO should be placed under suspension and FIR be lodged against him. With this demand, people continued protest demonstration till this evening when DC and SP informed them that SHO has been attached and further action would be taken on the completion of enquiry.
Following this assurance, the agitating people dispersed but the DC and SP continued to camp at Gulabgarh keeping in view prevailing law and order situation.
When contacted, DIG Doda-Kishtwar, M K Sinha said that SHO has been attached as he had not acted professionally. "After questioning, the girls should have been restored to their parents", he said, adding "we will be pressing tracker dogs into service tomorrow to trace out the girls as there is no eye-witness even to the claims that girls might have jumped into Chenab"