SRINAGAR: A posse of CRPF men on Wednesday morning beat to unconsciousness three persons in Safa Kadal area of the old city when they were returning home from SKIMS hospital in Soura, where they had gone to donate blood, the victims said. The CRPF termed it a “baseless accusation”.
The three persons were on a motorcycle when they were stopped by the CRPF men and beaten mercilessly. Two of them had gone to SKIMS on Tuesday evening for donating blood to a patient admitted at the hospital while the third had been staying at the hospital for the past few days to attend on the patient. The patient had been admitted to SKIMS a few days ago after he was injured in a bear attack.
The injured, Mohammad Sultan, Mohammad Shafi and Abdul Rasheed, are all residents of Sopore town in north Kashmir. According to their medical prescriptions, two of them have sustained injuries on their face, and the third has been hit in the right leg. Shafi has also been hit in the head.
“We had left early to avoid the forces, but our assessment proved wrong,” Sultan told Kashmir Reader. “When we reached a road between Sakidafar and Noorbagh, a posse of CRPF men asked us to stop. When our speedy bike moved a few feet ahead of them, a CRPF man threw his batons at us and it hit the person driving the bike, who lost control.”
“The bike first hit the divider on the road, then the CRPF men hit us hard. One by one we were beaten till we became unconscious. I regained my senses only in the hospital,” Sultan said. Shafi was still lying unconscious on the bed and Rasheed talked in a broken voice.
CRPF public relations officer Rajesh Yadav denied that such an incident had occurred.
“The driver of the speeding bike lost control when he was asked to stop by troopers at the Noorbagh turn. My troopers did not hit any of them. During the past 47 days, it has become a fashion to blame CRPF for every act of beating. It is totally baseless,” Yadav told Kashmir Reader.
When asked whether a baton was thrown at the driver of the bike, Yadav said, ‘It is not true. They were only asked to stop, which they did not. There was no point in throwing the baton because the deployment was till Cement Bridge and anyone could have stopped them again.”
Despite Yadav’s denial, people in Safa Kadal took out a protest after the incident and CRPF troops were pelted with stones for some time.