Video of youth tied to army jeep evokes anger


Srinagar, April 14 (IANS) A video of a youth tied to the front of a moving army jeep as a shield against stone pelters has evoked anger and shock in Kashmir. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the incident, if true, will be looked into, while the army said it is verifying the contents of the video.

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Asked about the video that surfaced on social media on Friday, Rajnath Singh said in Kolkata: “Whatever and wherever any such thing happens, it will be looked into. I have not received any such information. When I get the information, then I will answer this question.”

Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh questioned the veracity of the video, and said, “What is the video about? Who has posted the video?”

“Until the video’s veracity is established, it is difficult to react,” the former Army chief said on the sidelines of a seminar in Mumbai.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, tweeting his shock over the video, wrote: “This young man was TIED to the front of an army jeep to make sure no stones were thrown at the jeep? This is just so shocking!”

Omar called for an inquiry. “A warning can be heard (in the video) saying stone pelters will meet this fate. This requires an urgent inquiry and follow up NOW.”

Defence Ministry spokesperson, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, in a statement said: “The contents of the video are being verified and investigated.”

With internet services restored in Kashmir Valley on Thursday night after Sunday’s deadly violence that led to the death of eight civilians in firing by security forces, many such videos emerged on social media sites on Friday.

Commenting on the video, Wasim Dar, a Kashmiri youth, posted on Twitter: “A boy killed from point blank range and another boy tied to the army jeep. What to do after seeing these videos.”

Another Twitter handle said the army’s actions were “dehumanising a whole population to cultivate total submission”.

“The strategy, that has recoiled back, spectacularly,” ProjectKashmir tweeted.

However, some twitter users defended the army’s action and said it helped to avoid the stone pelting.

“Find a pelter, tie him up, let his pelter brothers scratch their heads. What’s not to love? Should’ve thought of this since beginning,” said a tweet from “FrustratedIndian.

Rajnath Singh, asked about purported videos of human rights violation by forces in Kashmir, said: “I can say the security forces are providing security putting their own life at stake in the crisis situation in Kashmir.”

He said an FIR has been lodged and action was on regarding the treatment meted out to the Central Reserve Police Force troopers who were carrying the Electronic Voting Machines during the election.

Video clips, which went viral, showed a group of youths heckling and even pushing the troopers as they wound their way.

“The way the CRPF troopers carrying the EVMs were treated, I had ordered that FIR be lodged. The FIR has been lodged now. Interrogation is on,” said Rajnath Singh.

–IANS

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UFO sightings inside Indian territory bordering China raise security concerns


Top security brass of the Indian government is battling a “mysterious” threat from the Chinese side these days: tennis ball-sized UFOs.

Hundreds of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) have been sighted inside the Indian territory bordering China in recent months, raising security concerns. The issue, initially dubbed a minor one, has turned serious as India prepares to raise it at the diplomatic levelwith China.

Sources said a meeting of the boundary coordination mechanism – a highlevel official mechanism set up by the two sides to ensure that the boundary incidents between their armed forces do not escalate – is being scheduled later this month where the issue of “luminous objects” will be at the centre of the discussion.

The Indian delegation will be led by Gautam Bambawale, the head of the China desk in the external affairs ministry, while China will be represented by its director general, department of boundary and oceanic affairs. Security officials from both sides will also participate in the meeting.

Highly placed sources said over 150 such incidents have been reported in the last three months and that India’s protests at the local border personnel meeting with the Chinese have met with a cursory denial.

The government’s decision to raise the ‘UFO ‘ issue at the diplomatic level follows a detailed report sought from the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Indian Army, and a spectrum analyser to ascertain the objects.

Surprisingly, the radar could not detect these objects indicating that they were nonmetallic. Also, the spectrum analyser could not detect any signals emitted by them. The army also flew a reconnaissance drone in the direction of the floating objects, but it didn’t yield anything substantial.

“Earlier these reports coming from various sectors of the boundary were sketchy but now we have definite proof of these yellowish spheres coming from the Chinese side; and our concerns will be raised,” a source said.

According to the reports, in Ladakh sector, such an object was sighted in Thakung post on October 21 for around eight hours. It had an “intense continuous flash light.” Another incident was reported from Arunachal Pradesh’s Dichu area on October 19.

Earlier it was believed that the Chinese could be sending remote-controlled lanterns but that theory was shot down after an internal probe. Mail Today accessed a series of reports sent by the intelligence bureau, the army and the ITBP on the issue, which has been discussed at a high-level meeting on China in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Some of the top government officials suspect that these UFOs which appear to lift off from the Chinese side and traverse the sky for three to five hours before disappearing were high-intensity cameras. “We are worried that there may be a flare-up if the Indian troops decide to shoot these objects,” a source said.