Srinagar: A man in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area was allegedly tortured for three days in police custody in order to force him to sign papers claiming his brother has joined militant ranks.
28-year-old Bashir Ahmad Wani, a former Lashkar-e-Toiba militant, went missing after appearing for hearing in a case at the Anantnag district court on October 1. Since then, he has not returned home. Last week, a police party from police station Kokernag picked up Bashir’s younger brother, Mudasir Ahmad Wani, and shifted him to JIC Anantnag for “interrogation”.
“I was beaten for three days. The police pressurised me to sign papers that my brother has joined militants. I refused because I have no knowledge about my brother’s whereabouts,” Mudasir told Kashmir Reader.
“I can’t ruin my brother’s life by signing the papers. We are worried about his safety, but the police are harassing us. Instead of tracing my brother, they are asking me about his whereabouts,” he said, expressing the fear that he may again be ‘called’ by the police.
When Bashir left his home, he was reportedly carrying an umbrella and he was last seen boarding a cab towards his home at Dialgam.
“He boarded a cab at Dialgam to go home, but did reach here. He didn’t have a mobile phone,” said Mudasir, who learnt about his brother boarding the cab from people.
Bashir had received arms training in Pakistan and was an active militant in the Valley before being arrested. Bashir was first arrested in Shangus area and spent some years (Mudasir does not remember the exact number of years) in jail. After his release, he rejoined militancy but was again arrested in Achabal. However, the third time Bashir was arrested, says Mudasir, he wasn’t with the militants and was framed by the police; Bashir then was arrested without informing his family. “For two months, we had no knowledge about his whereabouts. Police and army would raid our house and harass us and seek details about him. Later, they produced him in police station Kokernag after two months,” Mudasir said, suspecting “the police or army might have picked him up again”.
Mudasir said he cannot believe that his brother would have joined militants because of his health. “His arm and leg are fractured. He was weak,” he said. Bashir had plans to earn a livelihood and get married later. Moreover, the brothers have lost both parents and lived on their own.
“We were planning to sell off a plot of land and buy a passenger bus for him so that he could make a living. He was also mentally ready to drive a bus. But I will not believe he has again joined militants,” Mudasir said.