Kashmir Valley Outraged Over Disturbing Videos

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Srinagar: A string of shocking videos have outraged the Valley and raised a storm on social media amid mounting anger ahead of what is feared to be a long and troubled summer.

Three videos of army and paramilitary personnel’s alleged human rights violations against young Kashmiri men and boys have and sparked widespread condemnation, forcing chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to ask police to verify the footage.

This also comes a day after video clips of CRPF personnel being roughed up and abused by mobs on polling day in central Kashmir went viral on social media.

In the first video clip a youth is seen tied to the front of an army vehicle passing through Gundipora village of Beerwah where a re-poll was held on Thursday.

The 16 second video instantly sparked outrage with  Netizens, human rights activists and political leaders reacting to the army move with shock.

Police sources said the man strapped to the jeep in the video was Farooq Ahmad Dar, a resident of Beerwah, and that the clip was shot at Gundipora in Budgam, around 10 kilometers away.

The video shows Farooq tied to the army jeep, which was followed by some other vehicles of the army including a bus ferrying force personnel. While the tied youth is being paraded through the villages some of the force personnel is heard shouting that those “who would indulge in the stone pelting” would meet the same fate.

Narrating the ordeal, the 26-year-old Farooq, who hails from Chil Bras, Khansaheb said that he was thrashed and detained at an army camp before he was released after the polling concluded on Sunday.

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Farooq, according to a media report, said that after exercising his right to vote, he was proceeding towards his sister’s village when he was caught by the army personnel who wanted to enter Beerwah village along with the polling staff.

“I was released after being paraded through 10 to 12 villages,” he said.

Confirming the incident, MLA Khansaheb, Hakeem Yaseen, said that the matter was brought to his notice on the same day by the local people and the family members of the youth following which he had taken up the matter with the army authorities and the youth was released in the evening.

Farooq said that some local boys who saw him paraded might have shot the video and uploaded it on social networking sites.

Defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said that the incident is being probed.

“The video showing a young man tied to an army jeep is being looked into. The contents of the video are being verified and investigated,” Kalia told Kashmir Observer.

In another video, a group of youth, mostly teenagers, can be seen pelting stones on government forces at a polling booth in Beerwah. The video footage, shot by one of the polling staff, shows a young man suddenly falling to the ground — apparently after being shot by security personnel.

Officials of the CRPF claimed the local police had abandoned the polling station, leaving the ITBP jawans without any non-lethal riot-control weapon.

Another video has emerged showing security personnel shoving and beating a shirtless youth.

Police registered FIRs in both incidents, but refused to confirm the veracity of the clips.

Director General of Police S P Vaid however said the ITBP personnel seen shooting right in the head of a stone-pelting protester outside a polling station appeared to be in Ratsuna, where a youth — Nisar Ahmad Mir – had died during the violence on April 9.

Amid the uproar over the videos, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti quickly got into action and sought a report from the state police on the “disturbing” videos of “unacceptable” incidents which have emerged from the Budgam district from the day of polling.

The Chief Minister expressed concern over the videos being circulated on social media and has directed the police to submit a detailed report about the incidents so that necessary action could be taken, official sources said.

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