By SHERFUN NISA
KULGAM: The brother of a militant from Kulgam district has alleged that police tortured him on the night of February 8 so severely that both his kidneys have been damaged. Hilal Ahmad Ganie, brother of active militant Omar Majeed Ganie, is currently bed-ridden at his home in Souch village with a catheter inserted into his urinary tract. Doctors at SKIMS hospital in Srinagar, where Hilal was referred to by District Hospital Kulgam on February 9, have recommended a two-week bed rest to him.
Hilal said he was at his cousin’s home in Shopian when the Special Operation Group (SOG) of Shopian police arrested him along with other locals and took him to police station Shopian. The next day the Kulgam SOG came and took him to Kulgam.
“I went to my cousin’s home on Februray 7. In the night, the SOG team of Shopian cordoned off the area and I was taken into custody. The next day, at about 5pm, SOG Kulgam came and I was taken to their camp at Aamnoo (in Kulgam). There I was interrogated and tortured. They kept asking about my brother and beat me with wooden rods and leather belts. They also gave me electric shocks and constantly abused me. The torture continued the whole night. On February 9, when my condition deteriorated, they took me to District Hospital Kulgam, from where I was referred to SKIMS Srinagar. My Kidney Function Test (KFT) came as abnormal, after which doctors inserted a catheter so that I can pass urine. Doctors discharged me on February 10, telling me to take complete bed-rest for at least two weeks,” said Hilal, a private teacher by profession.
After Omar joined militant ranks, Hilal is the only son left at home. His father, Abdul Majeed Ganie, was also taken into custody for 25 days during the uprising last year. Abdul Majeed is a patient of diabetes and hypertension.
“My father was taken into custody by the SOG Kulgam. He is in his late 70s and also a diabetes patient. We are very worried for him,” Hilal said.
He said that the Kulgam SOG constantly visit their house in search of Omar and have ransacked the house many times. He alleged that the SOG men carried away the family’s washing machine, television, laptop, solar lights, blankets, and many other items.
“They raid our house even in the night. They took away every electronic item from our house. We were left only with the clothes we were wearing. They even took away the undergarments that we had put outside for drying,” Hilal said.
Hilal said he got married recently and that his wife is pregnant. “The SOG is compelling me to pick up the gun, like my brother did. We are fed up of being harassed again and again. Omar is my brother by blood and I cannot change that. What are we supposed to do?”
Omar was studying for a BSc at Government Degree College Kulgam when he joined militancy in 2015.
“Omar has chosen a separate way for himself, which we never wished for him. Now it has been more than a year and five months since he joined the Hizbul Mujahideen. The police should understand that it is not our fault,” Hilal said.
Kulgam superintendent of police Shridhar Patil told Kashmir Reader that Hilal was not tortured in the custody but “he has got some medical problems for which he was admitted in hospital”.
“Hilal was suffering from kidney stone which had got stuck in his pipe and we admitted him to district hospital Kulgam for treatment,” SP Kulgam said.
By SHERFUN NISA