‘My 7-year-old son begged before troopers but they were unmoved’
“I had just come out of the masjid along with my seven-year-old son. I was waiting for a friend who was still inside the masjid. At the very moment he came out, we saw two army vehicles coming towards the masjid. We quickly went into the friend’s medicine shop and shut the door from inside,” Tariq narrated the episode.
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“One of the army vehicles stopped exactly outside the shop. The other stopped a few meters ahead, where local youths had put some wooden logs on the road as a barricade since the morning. The army men jumped out from their vehicles and started shouting and chasing the people.
“A few minutes later, one of the army troopers rushed towards the shop and banged hard on the door with his rifle’s butt. When they saw us inside (there were five persons inside the shop), all of them entered the shop and started beating us,” Tariq said.
Tariq said he was the first one they caught hold of. Three army men dragged him out.
“After being dragged out to the road the soldiers thrashed me for a long time. I pleaded with them that I had only come to offer namaz and to buy some medicine for my wife, but they did not listen,” Tariq said.
Even the cries of his seven-year-old boy did not make the army men relent.
“My son kept weeping and begging before them but without listening to his cries they thrashed me till I fell flat on the ground,” Tariq said.
After he fell to the ground, the army men asked him to run. “I was not able to move any part of my body. I told them that I cannot even stand without support, but they told me ‘Saaley bhagoge ya marna hai?’”
Tariq said that when his son heard this, he told him, ‘Papa ye ab aap ko goli marenge. Yahan se utho (They will shoot you with bullets, papa, get up from here.)”
“My son helped me get up on my feet and took me home, where I fell unconscious. When I regained consciousness, I was in hospital,” Tariq said.
Tariq and his family members are thankful to the volunteers who helped them at the hospital. “Tariq had to be given four units of blood. The local youth donated that. Doctors told us that his spleen had ruptured, due to which he had suffered severe blood loss, and that surgery without blood transfusion was not possible,” a family member attending to Tariq at the hospital told Kashmir Reader.
Tariq and four others, including a woman, were admitted to the district hospital Anantnag on last Monday for injuries sustained in the severe thrashing by the army. One of the injured was referred to Srinagar while Tariq and the three others were treated here.