Srinagar, Dec 16 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir Police have denied involvement in allegedly setting ablaze private property in the frontier district of Kupwara.
''No policeman is involved in the burning of private property in Kupwara district,'' a police statement here said.
Referring to Panzgam incident, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kupwara Vijay Kumar said a police team was stopped and detained by the villagers while carrying out the orders of the District Magistrate, Kupwara.
The District Magistrate had ordered that police teams should regularly patrol Lolab area of Kupwara district to protect private property and ward off incidents of arson.
Due to frequent incidents of fire in Kupwara district, it was decided that police would conduct night patrolling in the area to keep the situation under control, he added.
During the intervening night of December 13-14, the SSP said a police party from Kralapora was on a routine patrol in Panzgam village when the locals stopped it, detained and beat up some personnel, mistaking them for culprits involved in setting ablaze forests and residential houses in the area.
Constable Nazir Ahmad and special police officers Aijaz Ahmad and Shamus-ud-din were critically wounded by the villagers, who also caught another SPO Aijaz Ahmad, he added.
Mr Kumar said the villagers searched the police vehicle and also SPO Aijaz Ahmad, but could not find any inflammable material. Senior police officials along with men were immediately deputed to Panzgam to take stock of the situation, he added.
The SSP said SPO Aijaz Ahmed was finally released before the media. The SPO told the media that he was a member of a police team from Kralapora. The party was headed by Sub Inspector Manzoor Ahmad and comprised four constables and three SPOs.
Meanwhile referring to Kukroosa incident, SP Handwara Haseeb Mughal said a police vehicle, on its way back after dropping some personnel in a camp of 36 Rashtriya Rifles for a joint operation, was stopped and seized by the villagers at Kukroosa.
The villagers also detained some policemen, resulting in a scuffle, he said, adding two policemen, kept hostage by the villagers at Kukroosa, were later rescued by the police.
The SP said no police personnel was involved in any incident of arson in the area.