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.
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.