India

Kashmir minister's guards held after policeman assault

Traffic lights guidance on the website of Jammu and Kashmir traffic police Image copyright Jammu and Kashmir traffic police
Image caption Traffic police in Indian Kashmir lay great emphasis on not jumping lights

Two security guards of a minister in Indian-administered Kashmir have been arrested for attacking a traffic policeman who stopped his cavalcade for jumping a red light, officials say.

The policeman told Indian newspapers that he was hit in the face by a rifle butt on Monday after stopping the cars.

Flood Control Minister Taj Mohiuddin denied seeing the incident, claiming he was on the telephone at the time.

The two guards have been questioned for assault, officials say.

The policeman told Indian newspapers that the incident happened in Srinagar when he asked the driver of the lead vehicle in the minister's cavalcade why he had jumped the lights.

"I asked him [the driver] why he did not stop at the signal when even the chief minister and the police chief of the state do so," the policeman said.

"Suddenly two personal security officers alighted from the vehicle and started to manhandle me and my team. One of them started hitting my face with the butt of his AK-47 rifle."

The policeman said that Mr Mohiuddin "was inside his car watching the entire incident as a mute spectator".

"I am a government employee. They should not have done this to me," he said.

Mr Mohiuddin told India Today that while he was present at the time of the "regrettable" assault, he did not witness it.

"I was doing a TV interview on my telephone," he said. "I reached home and immediately called the police to register a case."

The minister also denied that any of the vehicles in his cavalcade had jumped a red light.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah condemned the assault in a tweet.

"The guards who beat the traffic police officer will receive the strongest possible action under the law," he said.

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