Srinagar, May 22: The army on Tuesday said “necessary preventive measures” were taken by it after crowd resorted to heavy stone pelting, “posing serious threat to the safety of the troops” during an Iftaar party in Shopian.
Four girls were injured when army fired at protesters in Shopian allegedly after people protested hosting of Iftaar party by the army.
In a statement issued here, army’s Srinagar based defence ministry spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said that Iftaar party was hosted after necessary coordination was done with the village Maulvi (cleric), Masjid Committee Members, Sarpanch and other eminent persons of the village.
“Following the tradition and as part of goodwill gesture towards the Awaam during the holy month of Ramzan, the local Army Camp at Imam Sahib planned an Iftaar at DK Pura village on (Monday). Necessary coordination was done with the village Maulvi, Masjid Committee Members, Sarpanch and other eminent persons of the village,” a defence ministry spokesman said here.
“Some of them had also later visited the Army Camp in the afternoon to finalize arrangements. At around 1930 hours as the Iftaar was under progress, some miscreants from the village ‘barged’ into the masjid and started shouting anti-national and pro-Pakistan slogans including on the loudspeaker,” he said, adding “Very soon a large crowd instigated by the miscreants primarily consisting of youth and a few women gathered outside the masjid and surrounded the Army troops present there for organising the Iftaar.”
He said the crowd resorted to heavy stone pelting “posing serious threat to the safety of the troops.” “The troops verbally cautioned the crowd but when the stone-pelting further intensified, they took necessary preventive measures and moved out of the area.” (GNS)