Army refutes charges, blames GRP personnel for Kathua incident

The Army termed as "baseless" the charges that its jawans ransacked a police station in Jammu and Kashmir`s Kathua district and beat up GRP personnel.

Chandigarh: The Army Wednesday termed as "baseless" the charges that its jawans ransacked a police station in Jammu and Kashmir`s Kathua district and beat up GRP personnel there.

"The charges levelled against Army are totally baseless with a malafide intent," the Army said in a statement issued today, accusing the GRP and local police of "manipulating" the whole matter "by using their influence over the media."

"No police station was ransacked, the alleged kidnapping of GRP personnel did not take place as he (the GRP constable) willingly accompanied Army personnel to lodge the FIR and no GRP personnel was thrashed or beaten up as alleged in few media reports," the release said.

Giving details of the incident, it said one of the two jawans, who were waiting for their train at Kathua railway station, went to charge battery of his mobile phone from a plug point installed near the entrance when a GRP personnel objected and "started abusing" him.

Although the jawan "immediately apologised" and removed his phone, the GRP person, who was "visibly in a drunken state", called up his colleagues and started beating him, it said.

"All of them started beating up the jawan and dragged him to the GRP Office at Kathua Railway Station," the release said.

The another jawan, who was informed by a local boy, was also "abused" and "dragged" by the GRP personnel when he went at the GRP office for the help of his colleague.

"He (the second jawan) managed to escape and immediately informed the unit on mobile phone. Meanwhile, the abducted jawan was severely beaten by over 15 personnel of GRP with their rifle butts, belts and sticks," the release said.

The release said that by the time Army officials reached at the site, all GRP personnel had "moved away from the place of incident, except a head constable who also appeared to be in drunken state."

On being enquired about the incident, the constable "did not respond" and "refused" to give contact details of his seniors to whom the army officials wanted to speak, the release said.

Army representatives waited for more than one hour to talk to appropriate authorities, "but nobody turned up", it said.

"Finally the Army representatives asked the GRP personnel to accompany them to Kathua police station, to which the head constable willingly agreed. However, the other constable did not relent and ran out in a haste injuring himself as he fell down," the release said.

It further alleged that when the army demanded for a medical examination of the constable for intoxication, the district hospital authorities "did not undertake the blood test" stating that required facilities were not available.

"Most shockingly, they declared him `not intoxicated` by merely checking his body movements," it said.