Amid Clampdown, Kashmiris Complain of Torture and Beating by Security Forces

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Caravan News

SRINAGAR — Amid communication blackout and clampdown, people are complaining of torture and beatings by the security forces in Kashmir in the aftermath of revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by Narendra Modi-led BJP government.

According to a BBC report, several villagers in southern districts alleged that they were beaten with sticks, cables and given electric shocks. They also showed the marks of torture to the reporter. However, the army forces called the allegation “baseless and unsubstantiated”.

“Two brothers alleged that they were woken up and taken to an outside area where nearly a dozen other men from the village had been gathered. Like everyone else we met, they were too afraid of reprisals to reveal their identities,” claimed the report.

The report also quoted the victims telling their accounts of the torture. They explained that how were they subjected to torture and beatings.

“They beat us up. We were asking them: ‘What have we done? You can ask the villagers if we are lying and if we have done anything wrong?’ But they didn’t want to hear anything, they didn’t say anything, they just kept beating us,” one of the victims said.

“They beat every part of my body. They kicked us, beat us with sticks, gave us electric shocks, beat us with cables. They hit us on the back of the legs. When we fainted they gave us electric shocks to bring us back. When they hit us with sticks and we screamed, they sealed our mouth with mud.

“We told them we are innocent. We asked why they were doing this? But they did not listen to us. I told them don’t beat us, just shoot us. I was asking God to take me because the torture was unbearable.”

Another villager, a young man, said the security forces kept asking him to “name the stone-throwers” – referring to the mostly young men and teenage boys who have in the past decade become the face of civilian protests in Kashmir Valley.

He said he told the soldiers he didn’t know any, so they ordered him to remove his glasses, clothes, and shoes.

“Once I took off my clothes they beat me mercilessly with rods and sticks, for almost two hours. Whenever I fell unconscious, they gave me shocks to revive [me].

“If they do it to me again, I am willing to do anything, I will pick up the gun. I can’t bear this every day,” he said.

The young man added that the soldiers told him to warn everyone in his village that if anyone participated in any protests against the forces, they would face similar repercussions.

In a statement to the BBC, the Indian army said it had “not manhandled any civilians as alleged”.

“No specific allegations of this nature have been brought to our notice. These allegations are likely to have been motivated by inimical elements,” army spokesperson Col Aman Anand said.

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