Srinagar: The testimony of 21-year-old law student Umar of what happened in Karimabad area of Pulwama on Sunday morning explains why the uprising in south Kashmir is intensifying by the day. At Srinagar’s SMHS hospital where he was brought on Sunday with pellet injuries in his face and body, Umar said that he first became the victim of police violence two-and-a-half months before Burhan Wani was killed on July 8.
“I was driving my motor bike through the fields of Karimabad. After a few kilometers, a police team stopped me. They asked me some questions and when they came to know that I was from Karimabad, they began beating me with gun butts, so much so that both my legs were fractured,” Umar said.
Since that day Umar was on wheelchair. A surgery on both his legs was scheduled on the 27th of this month.
On Sunday, Umar said, “At about 8am, while I was still sleeping, police barged into our house. They beat all my family members, including my father, mother, sister and cousins. They vandalised our house.”
Then, “STF men dragged me out from bed. Some of them tried to molest one of my cousins, a girl of eighteen years. She tried to save herself by running to the first floor, but they ran after her. She jumped from the balcony to save herself,” Umar said.
Umar said he and his family members kept pleading with the forces. “But they were saying ‘today we will show you who we are.’”
Umar was dragged outside the house to the road, he said. “I told them I have fracture in both my legs, but they heard nothing. They continuously kicked me while dragging me. Out on the road they fired pellets on me.”
Umar said he was left half-dead by forces on the road. Some people brought an ambulance and rushed him to SMHS hospital.
“What sin had we committed? Neither had we thrown stones at them nor participated in any procession, which, according to them (police), is ‘violence’. I would have liked to do it but I was already made bed-ridden by them,” Umar said.
“Can’t she (CM Mehbooba Mufti) see what is being done to us? They are pushing us to the wall by creating a Syria-like situation here,” said Umar.
Now, Umar said, his soul was “pricking” him. “My family members were humiliated and beaten in front of my eyes. Do they think we can’t do the same to their family members? It is our conscience that won’t allow us to do it,” he said.
Umar said in a low voice that his private parts were bruised with razors by the policemen.
Umar’s attendants at hospital said that “We are being punished because of the daily ijtimas (congregations) that have started in our village. Recently, police issued an open threat to us that we would be killed if we did not stop organising these congregations.”
A senior police officer in Pulwama refuted these allegations. “Nothing of the sort happened. Nobody was molested. We had inputs about presence of militants in the area. As we entered the area, there was an announcement through masjid loudspeakers for people of all six villages of Karimabad to come out and resist us. Then, everybody from kid to old threw stones on us.”
“Regarding this particular case, I don’t know about it,” the police officer said.