‘Gareeb log hain, kya karengey complain’, says Kashmiri youth tied to army jeep
Srinagar, April 15: This is the season of viral videos in Kashmir as alleged abuse of both army personnel and civilians came to limelight. First, we saw a video where an army jawan was heckled and assaulted by a group of Kashmiri youngsters.
However, the army man showed exemplary restraint as he did not retaliate against his abusers. Now, one more viral video -- this time a Kashmiri youth allegedly tied to the bonnet of a moving army jeep and paraded in several villages to warn stone pelters -- has rocked the valley.
From politicians, human rights activists to Kashmiris, everyone had protested against the alleged abuse of the Kashmiri man by security personnel. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has sought a report from the police, and the army said it was examining the video.
The man in question has been identified as Farooq Ahmed Dar, 26, from Chil, Budgam. Dar, who works as a tailor and a carpenter, spoke to the media about his ordeal. He told Indian Express that he had never thrown a stone against security forces in his entire life.
When asked if he was going to lodge a complaint against the army personnel, who forcefully tied him to a vehicle, Dar said, "Gareeb log hain, kya karengey complain (We are poor people, what will we complain?). I live alone with my asthmatic mother who is 75 years old. I am scared. Anything can happen to me. I am not a stone pelter."
Dar, who has sustained several injuries, said he was paraded for nearly four hours from 11 am on April 9, the day of the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll. Dar revealed that he was picked up by the army when he was on his way to Gampora, 17 km from his home, to attend the rituals of a relative who had died.
He was riding his motorbike, when a couple of army men stopped him in Utligam, where a protest was underway. "They beat me up, tied me to the front of the jeep, and paraded me across nine villages," he said.
"I was tied to the front of the jeep. On my chest, a white paper was tucked under the rope. I could only see my name written on it," Dar added. "On the way, soldiers were shouting to people, 'come throw stones at one of your own'. People were running away. They were scared. I was told not to utter a word to anyone or they would shoot me," he said.
During his ill-fated journey, several onlookers requested army men to release Dar. However, they did not oblige, said the 26-year-old. Dar added that he was taken to the Rashtriya Rifles camp in Raiyari where he spent a few hours and was later released.