SRINAGAR: The medical reports of Ghulam Mohiuddin, 38, a frail man lying in Bone and Joint Hospital at Barzulla, are of firearm injury in his left forearm. Mohiuddin, a resident of Wusan village in Ganderbal district, was working for the past 17 years as a casual labourer for the state power department.
“This is the reward for my services,” he said from the hospital bed. “Even on the day of Eid-ul-Azha I was on duty. The Wusan army camp has been close to my home since 1989. Ask the CO (commanding officer), have I or people from my village ever attacked them? I want to ask Mehbooba Mufti, who says that the people being killed and maimed were attacking army camps, what sin had I committed?”
Tears roll down Mohiuddin’s sunken eyes. When asked to speak about how he sustained the firearm injury, he said, “It happened on September 17, Saturday. On Friday, after the Juma prayers in the Jamia Masjid of Wusan, which lies in Sheikhpora locality of the village, some metres away from my home in Chakpora Dar locality, clashes between government forces and people of Sheikhpora began.
I want to ask Mehbooba Mufti, who says that the people being killed and maimed were attacking army camps, what sin had I committed?
The next morning, I had to harvest rice from fields with my wife Naseema.
At about 9am, my wife said that she would first pluck collards from the kitchen garden located near the Wusan army camp. As I was waiting for my wife to come back from the kitchen garden, at about 9:30am, I heard cries of people from the masjid loudspeakers of Sheikhpora. They were pleading for help. They were saying that CRPF and police were beating people in their area, that they were breaking window panes and ransacking houses. ‘For God’s sake, save us,’ I heard on the loudspeakers. The thought of my four children, who had gone outside to play, made me come out of my house and search for them,” Mohiuddin said.
When he went out to look for his children, Mohiuddin said, he saw many villagers moving towards Sheikhpora. “I looked for my children but they were nowhere to be seen. I went towards my rice fields at Bon-e-naag, an area in the middle of Chakpora and Sheikhpora. When I reached Bon–e-naag, near the masjid, I saw a government trooper pointing his gun at me. Something hit my left forearm and everything turned black in front of my eyes. I regained consciousness in Kangan hospital,” Mohiuddin said.
A man sitting beside the hospital bed now spoke. He identified himself as Mohiuddin’s brother, Mohammad Qasim. “We heard sounds of firing. They continued for about an hour. When I went to look for my brother, I found him lying on the highway. The CRPF men there were not allowing any vehicle to stop. Then I sat on the middle of the road beside my brother, who was bleeding continuously. The CRPF men began beating me. Then one vehicle stopped. I put my brother in the vehicle and somehow we reached Kangan hospital,” Qasim said.
“It is the SHO of Ganderbal who has unleashed a reign of terror in the area. He often comes and provokes people,” Qasim said.
SHO Ganderbal Asif said when told of the allegation, “On the morning of September 17, Indo-Tibetan Border Police had come under heavy rock-throwing in the village. If we would have not rushed to the spot, the villagers would have killed the ITBP men.”
“We don’t know about the (Mohiuddin) incident. The family has not reported it to us,” the SHO (station house officer) said. “People can say anything. I do not have any animosity against the villagers. The village (Wusan) is 12 kilometres from the police station. Why have other villages not leveled such allegations?”