ANDHRA PRADESH

Jawans' `ruckus' raises their hackles

Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: A group of Army soldiers is reported to have created a ruckus at Pochammabasti in Mehdipatnam after they allegedly roughed up at least three persons, including a 20-year-old youth, and forced closure of shops on Saturday night. Local residents alleged that the soldiers, at least eight of them, were in an inebriated condition.

According to eyewitnesses, around 9.30 p.m., the Army men went to the house of their colleague in the area. They were believed to have consumed liquor there. Meanwhile, a youth, Anil, a collection agent with a chit fund firm, was leaving the place after collecting money from residents.

The Army men were reported to have picked up an argument with him over some petty issue and allegedly slapped him.

Locals alleged that four of them entered some houses and reportedly passed obscene remarks against women.

"They took out belts and began beating us. They thrashed a pan shop owner and forced closure of all shops in the area," said an ex-serviceman, Feroz. The personnel were in their uniforms and armed with weapons.

It was alleged that they thrashed a kirana shop owner and disappeared into the Ex-Servicemen's Colony. The Humayun Nagar police, however, said that the personnel were not drunk and that it was a small issue.

"They roughed up Anil following some misunderstanding and left the place. We have not booked any case and will sort out the matter with the Colonel on Sunday," the Humayun Nagar Inspector, R. Pratap Reddy, said.

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