By Mohammad Amin
Kupwara: Naseer Ahmad Sheikh, 29, a resident of Halmatpora village of Kupwara district, leads prayers at a mosque in Khanyar area of Srinagar. Early on Sunday morning he was beaten ruthlessly by army men in Sopore town while he was on his way to home from Srinagar to see his ailing daughter. His body has so many bruises that he is not even able to lie down on the hospital bed.
Fearing protests and clashes against brutality committed by army, authorities’ this evening imposed curfew in Kupwara town following reports of deteriorating health of Imam, police sources said. The security forces’ deployed in strength enforced the restrictions not allowing any movement.
“The army men stationed near Fruit Mandi Sopore stopped my vehicle at about 6.20am and asked everyone to show their identity cards. They asked me about my profession and when I told them that I was an Imam, the troops said that Imams are provoking people against army, and they asked the driver to leave the spot. They took me to a nearby orchard. They tied me to an apple tree and beat me with sticks all over the body. I pleaded with them to verify from people if I was provoking them against army but they did not listen and kept on beating me. When I would cry out in pain, they would cock their guns and threaten to shoot me,” Sheikh said.
Sheikh said that the army men from 21 RR unit beat him for about 20 minutes and then asked him to meet their officer in the camp.
“By then, I was half dead and unable to stand on my feet. They took me to a camp but I don’t know exactly the location of the camp, as they asked me to keep the eyes closed. Later they took me to Srinagar-Kupwara highway with my eyes closed and asked an ambulance driver to take me to Kupwara,” Sheikh told Kashmir Reader.
A doctor treating Sheikh at district hospital Kupwara said that he had bruises all over his body due to severe thrashing.
“Thankfully he has not suffered a fracture but he has suffered bruises mostly in his back and on thighs due to severe thrashing,” said Dr Faesal.