Srinagar: The army is caught in a tight spot after a video showing a Kashmiri youth tied to one of its vehicles which moved through different areas of Budgam on the polling day went viral.
The youth, Farooq Ahmad Dar, of Chil Bras, Khansaheb, was allegedly thrashed and detained at an army camp before he was released after the polling concluded on the Srinagar parliamentary constituency on Sunday.
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 Firstpost in an exclusive interview.
Narrating the ordeal, the 26-year-old Farooq Dar, said that he was caught by the army and paraded through different areas and thrashed before being released in the evening.
"The armed force personnel were beating some women at Utli Gam. They caught hold of me and tied me to the jeep before dragging me to the camp at Arizal where I was severely beaten up before I was handed over to the family members. I received injuries to my arm as well as face," he said.
While travelling to attend the mourning of one of his relatives at Gundipora, Farooq said that he was caught hold of and beaten up without any provocation. "I was travelling on a bike to attend the mourning of my brother-in-law's sister when the incident happened," he said.
Farooq's elder brother, Fayaz Ahmad Dar, said that he had left early in the morning to his relative's place. "After we lodged the protest, we got to know about that he was held up at an army camp at Arizal where from he was finally released in the evening after the polls were over," he said.
Farooq said that some local boys who saw him paraded through different areas might have shot the video and uploaded it on social networking sites.
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. Some of the force personnel seemed to be shouting that those "who would indulge in the stone pelting" would meet the same fate.
The incident drew widespread condemnation in Srinagar.
National Conference working president and former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, described the incident as "shocking".
Here's the video as well. A warning can be heard saying stone pelters will meet this fate. This requires an urgent inquiry & follow up NOW!! pic.twitter.com/qj1rnCVazn
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) April 14, 2017
However, Firstpost wasn't able to verify it independently.
Reacting to the incident, Omar's political secretary, Tanveer Sadiq said that it was a shameful incident.
"We have sought an exemplary punishment against those who are involved in the incident. This was not done even in medieval times when the people were paraded out on the roads," he said. Sadiq said that when it was verified he was the first person to tweet and condemn the incident.
"There are however some people who are trying to also put across the point that the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were also hurled with stones. But one can't compare the army or the CRPF with the stone-pelters. What is the difference if the army and CRPF do the same thing as is done by the stone-pelting youths?" Sadiq asked. He said that the army should take strict action against its personnel who are involved in the incident so that "this was not repeated again".
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.
"I took up the matter with the local army authorities who had detained the boy and got him released," Yaseen said.
Updated Date: Apr 14, 2017 19:08 PM