Srinagar: On the eve of the International Human Rights Day, Kashmiri victims of human rights abuses held a sit-in protest at Pratap Park here to tell the world about their plight.
The protest was organised by rights activist Ahsan Untoo who was detained by the police before the event could begin.
Among the protesters was Farooq Ahmad Dar, who on 9 April 2017 was tied to the bonnet of a jeep by an army officer, Major LeetulGogoi, and paraded through several villages. Gogoi later said he had saved his men from stoning by protesters and also saved people from getting shot at.
The government recently declined State Human Rights Commission’s recommendation asking it to pay Dar a compensation of Rs 10 lakh.
“I am sure that they will compensate me. The compensation will not only mean helping me financially but it will also mean that government accepts that the treatment meted out to me was inhuman,” said Farooq, who comes from a remote village in Budgam district.
Nasrullah from Devsar, Lolab in Kupwara district, recalled the “11-hour-long torture army had subjected him to”:
“I received a call from my sister who lives in Tremukh. She said her cattle have not returned to her place. I and four other people rode horses and set toward her place. On way, we have to stop at an army camp to register our names. I marked my entry in the register and Manzoor who was with us started chatting with a soldier. A sentry told me that Major sahib was looking for me. I went inside the camp where a doctor checked my pulse. He told the Major that my pulse rate is high. The Major then started beating me and said some militants were hiding at our place. They beat me up with belts and iron rods. Three soldiers kicked my abdomen. From another room, I heard Manzoor’s screams,” he said.
“I heard the Major telling Manzoor ‘why don’t you admit that militants were there, your brother Nasrulla said they were there’. If they had beaten Manzoor like they beat me he would have died because he has a cardiac problem,” said Nasrulla.
At 9 pm, he said, he was dumped outside the camp.
“The soldiers were telling each other ‘he should not die inside the camp.’”
Both his kidneys have been damaged. A father of seven children, Nasrulla stopped treatment midway because he couldn’t afford to continue dialysis.
Manzoor has not been seen since the day he was detained at the camp.
Sharing his woes was another person by the name of Manzoor Ahmad, whose 16-year-old son Zahid suffered serious internal injuries after the forces emptied a cartridge full of 300 shotgun pellets into his belly at NawaKadal about a fortnight ago.
“This was his fate. I just want the government to do justice and give him a job. I am poor. I cannot afford his treatment,” he said.
Holding a photo of his incarcerated brother Abdul SamadInqalabi, Nazir Ahmad Malla also participated in the sit-in. He said Samad had been tortured at the district jail Kathua.
The other victims who participated were Mohammad Yousuf Raja, 80, who had been tortured at Joint Interrogation Centre in 1995 and Gulshan, whose son was subjected to enforced custodial disappearance by the police in 1997.