Anantnag : The family of a Shopian youth, Syed Rubaan, has alleged that during a recent raid at their house, army soldiers clicked pictures of Rubaan after slinging their own guns over his shoulders.
Syed Rubaan, son of Syed Muhammad Hussain, a resident of Nazneenpora in Shopian district, has been routinely detained by government forces over the past couple of years, his family said.
“His detention had become routine and we were cooperating with the government forces. But this event, where he has been falsely photographed with AK-47 rifles that actually belong actually to the army, has left us petrified,” said Syed Tajammul, Rubaan’s elder brother.
The incident, family said, took place at about 11:15 PM on June 17.
“Army men from the nearby Ahgam camp beat up Rubaan and me black and blue, then they left me alone but slung their guns over Rubaan’s shoulders and took multiple pictures of him,” Tajammul said.
Rubaan was first picked up by forces, Tajammul said, after his friend Farooq Ahmad Hurra joined the Hizbul Mujahideen in October 2016.
His detentions did not stop even after Hurra was killed in March 2017. Indeed, the Rubaan began to be detained more frequently after one of his second cousins, Syed Naveed, a policeman, decamped with his service rifle and joined the Hizb in May 2017.
“All of us family members get called for routine questioning but Rubaan is being targeted for his religious bent of mind,” the family alleged.
They said that the forces once picked him and took away his two mobile phones, of which they only returned one. The family has tried sending Rubaan away to Chandigarh, where Tajammul worked, but the army kept showing up at their door asking for him, suspecting that he may have joined militants.
“I left the job at Chandigarh and came back. Then I took Rubaan with me to Srinagar, but the army again started showing up asking for him. As a result, we have kept him here at home now,” Tajammul said.
He said that Rubaan’s studies have been badly affected. He is a final-year student at Government Degree College Pulwama.
“We are worried about his safety after army took those pictures,” the family said.
Rubaan is an avid cricketer and, the family alleges, has been forced by the army to play in their tournaments.
Tajammul maintains that he has been moving from pillar to post after the incident on June 17 but nothing is being done.
“I have met DIG South Kashmir, Amit Kumar, and apprised him of the situation. He sought details which I texted him. I have intimated SP Shopian, DC Shopian and some other officials as well,” he said.
DIG Kumar did not respond to repeated calls made by this reporter.
SP Shopian Shailendra Mishra told Kashmir Reader that he has not received a written complaint from the family.
“Whatever is being said is verbal and we cannot act on that. There has been no written complaint,” he said.
Army spokesperson Rajesh Kalia noted the details when this reporter asked him about the incident. He said he will ascertain the facts and get back.