Innocent Kashmiris continue to bear brunt of Pulwama attack aftermath


Three Kashmiri youth in New Delhi and a journalist in Pune have been attacked in the last 36 hours in continued violence against Kashmiris in the aftermath of the Pulwama tragedy whereas a Kashmiri man was severely tortured by Indian army officials in Srinagar, Indian and Kashmiri media reported on Saturday.

According to the Kashmir Media Service (KMS), three Kashmiri youth were assaulted in the Nangloi area of New Delhi on Friday while in a separate incident, a 24-year-old Kashmiri journalist, Jibran Nazir, was beaten up in Pune on Thursday night.

Nazir, who works with a local newspaper in Pune, said that the assailants told him that they would send him back to Kashmir.

Meanwhile, authorities have booked an “illegally detained youth” under the Public Safety Act (PSA) — that allows detention for up to six months without trial — in Pulwama district, KMS reported.

A resident of the Chatpora area in the district, Muzamil Ganai, was shifted to Kot Bhalwal Jail in Jammu after he was booked under the PSA.

Ganai had been arrested by police last week on charges of pelting stones at the Indian forces personnel. His family members, however, refuted the police claims that he was involved in the stone pelting.

Also, a resident of Shopian, Muhammad Ishaq Lone, was admitted to a hospital in Srinagar after Indian Army personnel subjected him to severe torture at their camp.

According to KMS, Lone told reporters that he received a call from personnel of the army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles stationed at Nagisharan Shopian, late on Wednesday evening summoning him to the camp. Lone, a resident of Rawalpora who runs a small pharmacy in Shopian town, said that when he visited the camp along with the village head the next morning, he was beaten to pulp by the army men.

“After abusing me, they took off my clothes and beat me with canes,” Lone said, adding that he was told by the army men to bring his brother Wilayat Ahmed.

Lone was rushed to district hospital Shopian from where was sent to SMHS hospital Srinagar due to the serious nature of his injuries.

On Friday, India’s Supreme Court ordered bolstered protection for Kashmiris who were facing discrimination and violent backlash after the Pulwama attacks.

The top court told state governments and police chiefs to ensure there are no “attacks, threats or social boycott” over the February 14 bombing in occupied Kashmir — the worst in the territory in 30 years — in which 40 Indian soldiers were killed.

More than 700 Kashmiri students, workers and traders have returned to occupied Kashmir from the rest of India to escape reprisals for the attack, which has also ratcheted up regional tensions after India has alleged that those who planned the attacks had links with the Pakistani state — a charge that Islamabad has vigorously denied.

Video footage of Kashmiris being taunted or beaten has been widely shared on social media, while right-wing Hindu groups and some TV news channel pundits have encouraged reprisals.

Some Kashmiris have been suspended by Indian universities for their social media comments on the case. Others have been arrested on sedition charges.