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

Four killed and five soldiers injured in Shopian militant attach


Three army men and a woman were killed while five army personnel were injured in a militant attack on wee hours of Thursday in Shopian district of South Kashmir.

The attack took place in Mulu Chitragam area of Shopian around 60 kms from Srinagar, when militants ambushed a patrolling party of 44-RR at around 2:00 am, when they were returning from cordon and search operation in a nearby village Kungnoo.

The party was returning without any arrest or recovery from Kungnoo, when militants opened fire at the government forces in Chitragam village.

Even though extra contingents of forces were rushed to spot, but militants managed to flee from the spot, after inflicting heavy loses on the government forces.

In the exchange of fire, according to initial reports, a bullet hit a local resident, Taja Begum, who was inside her house and she died.

The army personnel killed in the attack have been identified as Sreejit MJ, Vikas Kumar and Ghulam Muhammad Rather, while the injured include Lt Col Mukesh Jha, Major Amardeep Singh, Surendra Kumar, Sumer Singh and Ajay Pal.

“While returning from Kungnoo, the CASO party was attacked by unknown militants at Mulu Chitragam at about 2 am resulting in injuries to six army personnel including two officers of whom three succumbed to their injuries,” read the official statement of police.

Former chief minister and opposition National Conference leader in response to the incident tweeted, “Tragic news & deeply worrying situation in the valley. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.”

Militancy is on a steep rise in Kashmir, especially after the killing of Hizb ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani along with his two colleagues on July 8 last year.

According to official figures, 29 Armymen and 22 militants have been killed in first two months of this year, till now. The police figures claim that around 100 locals have joined militant ranks in last year and 59 of them joined after Wani was killed. More than 60 weapons have been snatched from police and other government forces in 2016.

“South Kashmir as whole is a major concern for us as for as militancy is concerned. However, Pulwama and Shopian area a major concern as we have both militancy and law and order problem here,” a senior police official told ET.

The counter militancy operations had completed stopped during five months of street protests, but resumed and are continuing at fast pace, as protests subsided since November last year.

J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has urged J&K police to persuade local militants for surrender and manage their reentry into mainstream of development. Police claims that they were successful in persuading few militants for surrender. However the militants alleged that the government was harassing their families under the garb of surrender policy. Local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant, Zakir, in a video message, warned police of dire consequences, if latter continue to harass families of militants.

Source: Economic Times