A video of children crying after the driver of their school bus was allegedly assaulted by army personnel at Zawoora in South Kashmir's Shopian region has sparked outrage on social media, with netizens condemning the "high-handedness" of security forces.
The incident also triggered protests by local residents and students, who demanded action against those involved in the incident. "We are stuck in a traffic jam when a convoy of army personnel suddenly appeared out of nowhere. They badly assaulted driver uncle," an agitating student alleged.
The driver, identified as Gulzar Ahmad Rather, had to be hospitalised with head injuries. There were over 50 students in his bus when the incident occurred.
Police said they are still ascertaining the facts. "I have met the school management and assured action in the incident. We have not received a formal complaint so far," a senior police officer said.
Shopian, one of the most terror-infested regions in Jammu and Kashmir, has to put up with severe traffic restrictions at times. For instance, no civilian vehicle is allowed to run when military convoys are moving through its roads. The regulations were further tightened after a terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama claimed 40 lives in February.
Immediately after the incident, the state administration had banned civilian traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway for two days a week. Although the controversial move was revoked last month, civilian vehicles are still required to halt when military convoys are on the move.
In another incident, a traffic policeman was allegedly assaulted by army personnel in Srinagar's Nowgam area after he refused to halt civilian traffic for letting a mine-resistant vehicle through. According to news agency PTI, police are probing the incident on the basis of footage that has been widely circulated on social media.
(With inputs from PTI)