Qazigund: Curious scenes, recorded on mobile phone cameras for posterity, were witnessed in Vessu village of Qazigund on Monday of an Indian Army officer full-throatedly shouting ‘Hum Kya Chaahte? Azadi!’, ‘Hum Kya Chaahte? Azadi!’, ‘Nara-e-Takbeer, Allah-u-Akbar!’
Not just this, there were Kashmiri youth carrying the army officer on their shoulders, cheering as he chanted the slogans and his subordinate troops chanted after him.
The drama began at 5:30pm in the evening when locals were offering Asr prayers in the local mosque. The major of the army’s Rashtriya Rifles unit in the area along with a few soldiers arrived at the mosque to ask the whereabouts of the local Auqaf committee’s president. Witnesses said that people laid a cordon around the officer and his men, then closed in on the catch.
“The loudspeaker of the mosque was as usual playing pro-freedom songs, which had attracted a large gathering. The major and his men were cordoned off by the local youths, leaving them no escape,” witnesses said.
Sensing trouble, the major tried to wriggle out of the situation by suddenly shouting, “Hum Kya Chaahte? Azadi!”, “Nara-i-Takbeer, Allah-u-Akbar!”
“The youth then lifted the major on their shoulders and asked him to shout the slogans once again. When he did so, all the people and the soldiers who had come with him also repeated the slogans. The activity continued for about twenty minutes. It was filmed on mobile phones by many young men there,” witnesses said.
The youths later asked the major and his men to leave the place and “warned them of dire consequences if they ever tried to come again to threaten the people.”
Later, Superintendent of Police of Anantnag came to the village and enquired asked the people who had gathered on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway to vacate the road.
“But again the angry youths asked the police officer to leave immediately or the situation would turn ugly. The police officer and his men left without any delay,” witnesses said.
When army spokesperson NN Joshi was asked about this incident, he said he had no knowledge of it, “as the current situation is being handled by CRPF and police.” Later, Joshi rang up the office of Kashmir Reader and said “nothing has happened there.”