M A I N   N E W S

On Leh tourists’ complaint, cops book Armymen for rioting

Srinagar, June 2
The Jammu & Kashmir Police has registered a case against unidentified Army personnel for allegedly entering three hotels in the dead of the night in Leh and harassing tourists, including foreigners, earlier this week.

The incident took place on the intervening night of May 30 and 31 when Army personnel from 3 Division, based at Kharu in Leh area of Ladakh, barged into Hotel Masarovar, Holiday Inn and Keddar Guest House, official sources said today.

They said the soldiers, carrying weapons and wearing uniforms without name badges, questioned the tourists without taking the police into confidence as required under the law. One of the tourists had taken pictures of the Army personnel and complained to the police about harassment by the troops, sources added.

They said as the police tried to intervene in the matter, the soldiers allegedly manhandled them. The Army personnel were heard repeatedly shouting that someone in the hotels was using a satellite phone.

Several foreign tourists staying in these hotels felt harassed in the process and threatened to lodge a complaint with the government through their embassies, sources said. A defence spokesman denied harassment to the tourists.

A case under Sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons) and 342 of the Ranbir Penal Code (wrongful confinement) was registered against the Army personnel, sources said.

Sources said the incident was retaliatory action by a senior Army officer, who, along with his son, was asked to go through routine frisking at the Leh Airport a few days ago. They said the officer had entered into an altercation with the police at the airport. “Specific intelligence inputs over the last few days indicated that there were terrorist designs to disrupt tourism in Leh by targeting hotels and the Leh Airport. Since then, preventive action, including heightened security measures, are in place,” defence spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar said. — PTI

Search Trouble

n On the night of May 30/31, Army personnel from 3 Division barged into Leh’s Hotel Mansarovar, Holiday Inn and Keddar Guest House

n Several foreign tourists staying in these hotels felt harassed and threatened to lodge a complaint through their embassies

n On receiving their complaints, the J&K police registered a case against unidentified Army personnel

n The Army, on its part, said the search operation followed an intelligence input about terrorists’ plan to disrupt tourism in state. However, the police claimed there was no such input





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