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Kashmir Newz Board

Eight-day village crackdown ends in Kashmir

February 21, 2008:

An eight-day long crackdown of a village in Kupwara district of Indian administered Kashmir ended Wednesday morning.

Indian army had cordoned the Mangwalpora, Handwara village last week and conducted daily searches in the houses, on "inputs" about the presence of some insurgents in the village.

There were no reports of gunfights, recovery of arms and ammunition from the area.

This is the longest siege or crackdown in the region by Indian troops in recent years.

Long sieges and crackdowns of civilian localities for searches were common in the earlier years of anti-India insurgency that broke out in the region in 1989.

The male residents were assembled in an open space in the village and subjected to identification parades, while their houses were searched for arms and insurgents.

Residents alleged that troops dug up walls and compounds in many of the houses to look for arms.

The long siege caused grave inconvenience to people, who complained that even sick and elderly could not be provided medicare in the siege.

Many of the annoyed residents had left their houses earlier this week to take refuge in a nearby village after troops temporarily lifted the curbs.

Eyewitnesses said villagers were gathered in three houses and other houses in locality were thoroughly searched.

Throughout the period the electricity supply to the village remained affected.

People refused to take the food offered by troops on the eight day.

The lifting of siege has relieved people from the psychological trauma to a large extent.

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