Contractor allegedly opens fire on workers demanding wages in J&K’s Banihal, arrested

Banihal, April 13: Police on Tuesday arrested a sub-contractor of a railway tunnel construction company in Banihal area of Ramban district of Jammu for allegedly opening fire on a group of labourers demanding their pending wages last evening. 

Police said nobody was hurt in the incident. 

The contractor, who is affiliated with the BJP, however denied the allegation saying it was a “conspiracy” by the local Congress saying he had fired in self defence. 

Locals told Greater Kashmir that Mohammad Saleem Bhat, a BJP leader working as a subcontractor with the construction company ABCI, opened fire with his licensed pistol on a family and abused them for demanding their pending dues at the construction site at tunnel number 74 in Tatnihall area of Banihal Monday evening. 

Soon after the incident, police rushed to the spot and registered an FIR no. 55/2021 under section 307 IPC and 3/25 AA, at police station Banihal against Bhat late last night, SHO Banihal, Nayeem ul Haq told Greater Kashmir. 

Nayeem said that the accused contractor was arrested today and further investigation has been taken up in this regard. 

But Bhat alleged the incident was a “conspiracy hatched by Congress party” saying he had “nothing to do with the family”.

Bhat said he fired in the air only to save my life after some locals attacked his vehicle and smashed glasses and pelted stones on him and other officers and workers inside and outside tunnel number 74 at the construction site. 

He said he has lodged an application with the police regarding the attack.

It has been learnt that the railway construction company ABCI too has filed a written complaint with the police against a local family for allegedly attacking and pelting stones on officers, workers and contractors and disrupting the construction work inside the railway tunnel. 

Meanwhile, local Congress leader and DDC counselor Banihal, Imtiyaz Ahmad Khanday visited the incident site and condemned the alleged attack on locals. 

Khanday demanded “stern action” against the accused.