Range Officer Concerned Terms Allegations As ‘Baseless’
Kupwara, Oct 23: Scores of residents in Chandigam Lolab on Friday morning staged strong protest demonstrations at main chowk Sogam, against alleged ‘manhandling’ of several women at the hands of Range Officer Forest Department accompanied by a team of Forest Protection Force in the area on Thursday evening.
The incident, as per the protestors, took place while the women were fetching firewood from a nearby forest area for a marriage ceremony adding “However the Range Officer and the Forest Protection Force team intercepted the women and upon shown resistance, the department employees manhandled several of them (women).”
The protestors maintained that they even had ‘apprised’ the department concerned in earnest and as such had ‘prior consent’ from the latter for collection of the firewood.
Demanding that a case be registered against the official and the team of government department involved in the act, protestors have urged the authorities “to take exemplary action against them under relevant sections of law for outraging modesty of the women folk.”
The protestors on the ocassion, remarked that instead of showing some remorse of their ‘unparliamentary behavior’, the official and the departmental team have meanwhile lodged a complaint alleging the locals only for “damaging a car of its control room”, which as per them is “sheer fabrication and far from reality”.
Meanwhile when contacted Range Officer Sogam Haider Ali denied the allegations, adding that “It were the residents only who attacked the department vehicle and snatched mobile phones from them on being enquired about the collection of wood from the forest area.”
Meanwhile, Tehsildar Lolab Sogam and DySP Lolab have assured of a proper enquiry into the incident followed by necessary action.(GNS)