Srinagar: One among the eighteen persons injured in Thursday’s grenade attack at Jehangir Chowk was interrogated while the he fought for life at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Soura. Relatives of the victim said that he was earlier interrogated at SMHS hospital as well.
Relatives of Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Bhat, who recently retired as a security supervisor at SKIMS, told Kashmir Reader that Thursday evening Bhat called to say that he was being interrogated by police officials.
“He was crying over phone. He asked us to come immediately and save his life from police. Then someone who had probably dialled our number told us rudely (on phone) that he is just frightened,” a young relative of Bhat, attending him at SKIMS, said.
The family came to know about Bhat’s injury while he was being treated at SMHS hospital. Bhat was soon rushed to SKIMS as his condition was deteriorated.
“We met him outside SMHS hospital. He was crying in pain. He told us that he was beaten by police officials and interrogated him. He said they asked him absurd questions regarding the incident,” the relative said. “Actually, police claims that the person who lobbed grenade (at Jehangir Chowk) was riding a scooty. He (Bhat) also has a scooty with him and that has been taken by the police,” he says.
One civilian was killed while 18 others, including three policemen, were seriously injured in the attack.
Following the “interrogation”, Professor Ghulam Mohammad Bhat at Department of Anatomy at Government Medical College Srinagar, took to social networking site Facebook and expressed his discontent.
“Brutality at its worst: … At 6.40 PM (on Thursday), I received a call that one of my relative has been injured in the same blast and I rushed to the hospital. After searching the patient for ten minutes, I found him on wheel chair, unable to recognize me and talking incoherently in Kashmiri that he has been arrested, is being tortured and kept in some hidden room. The attending neurosurgeon told me that he does not allow anyone to touch and is afraid,” the professor wrote in his Facebook post.
“…Finally I shifted the patient to SKIMS, where he was operated for subdural haematoma and is battling for life in the surgical ICU. Patient had many injuries and one of the shells had penetrated his left temporal area and got lodged in right occipital lobe. How strange and painful is the life in conflict areas, the police instead shifting the victims to hospital facility, began to search the offender and in doing so arrested a 60 year retired person. How shameful is it that police, which should have been protector, tortured such grievously injured person to force him for confession of the crime of which he was a victim. May Allah protect us all,” the Facebook post reads.
The drama doesn’t end here. After Bhat was admitted to SKIMS, policemen didn’t stop following him. Late night, when Bhat was admitted to Intensive Care Unit of hospital after a three-hour long surgery, policemen barged into ICU in order to question Bhat.
“After operation, he wasn’t able to talk or even open his eyes. When policemen got nothing from him, they approached us and sought information from us. We had nothing to offer to the police officials,” the relative told Kashmir Reader.
Senior Superintendent of police, Imtiyaz Ismail Parray, didn’t respond to phone calls. Station House officer Shergadhi police station, Javed Ahmad, said that they didn’t interrogate anyone in the hospital.
“It is just a normal questioning which is done only after ascertaining whether the patient is fit for the questioning or not. Nobody was interrogated,” he said.