Residents narrate harrowing tale of Indian army raid in Srinagar

Srinagar, December 02 : In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the residents of HMT and its adjoining areas in Srinagar have said that Indian troops terrorized and ruthlessly beat them up during a nocturnal raid.

Indian troops and paramilitary personnel barged into HMT and adjacent areas of Srinagar in the middle of the night, dragged civilians out of their houses, thrashed them, abused females and forced people to chant purely Hindu slogan ‘Jai Shree Ram’.

An eyewitness told media men, that several youth and aged persons received multiple injuries in the forces’ violent and inhuman action. He said that the troops dragged them from houses and thrashed them for many hours during the harsh winter night in a nearby ground. They were not even allowed to scream or raise head except for chanting Victory to Lord Ram.

One victim Bilal Hussain said that he was scrolling on his smartphone, tucked in his bed, when someone repeatedly banged the door to his residence in Abanshah area in Srinagar’s outskirts. When he opened the door, he stood numb as about forty troops of the Indian Army stared at him.

Moments later, “I and my father walked out on the street”, he said. Neither of them were given a chance by Indian army to wear shoes. Hussain said at least twenty other people were ordered out of their homes, made to stand in a line on the dark street as the temperature dipped to 1°C. As the men and boys shivered, one Indian army soldier walked up to Hussain and said, “Yeh raat tu kabhi nahi bhulega. Yeh to shuruwat hai.” (You’ll never forget this night. This is just the beginning.)

Hussain said the troops kept repeating the same questions: “Where are the militants?”, “Tell us where did they eat food?”, “Did you watch the video?” The troops were referring to a video recorded and released by militants who attacked an Indian army patrol group, killing two troops, on the afternoon of 26 November in the area.

Since the attack, the locals told media men that Indian Army was raiding the neighbourhood every day and night, dragging out civilians and beating them up. Dozens of people were beaten up by the army so far, the locals said.

The Indian army personnel thrashed the rounded up residents for nearly an hour. “We were not allowed to scream,” Hussain recalled, “or even raise our heads up.” During this, he said, one man shouted in agony: “If you are going to kill, [then] shoot us.”

For Hussain, the pain didn’t numb with continued thrashing and he let out a scream. Then, an Indian army officer walked up to me and said ‘Bol, Jai Shri Ram’, (chant Victory to Lord Ram, a rallying slogan for Hindu nationalists)” recalled Hussain. “[But] I screamed in pain then he shoved his gun in my mouth.”

Another victim, Hamza, said, “The Indian army barged into our house on Friday night and dragged all men above 18 out.” The Indian army grabbed my hands, pulled me towards the pole, and tightly held me against it and beat me up from the back.

A dozens injured boys are undergoing treatment in a hospital in Srinagar.

Several women talking to media men said, “The Indian army personnel are raiding our houses and harassing us. The forces used abusive words and assaulted us during the house raids on Friday night.”

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