The physical torture inflicted by Indian Army on five locals of Lolab Valley including two brothers sparked protest at Harden Lolab area of frontier district Kupwara. The victims alleged that the Army officer offered them cash to keep their mouth shut.
Locals of Harden Lolab told CNS that Army personnel from 18 RR stationed at Kuligam and Warnav camps have let loose a reign of terror in the Lolab Valley. They said that Army personnel harasses, detains and even tortures the people on one or the other pretext.
Locals added that on the pretext of harbouring militants, an army team called five youth including two brothers all residents of Harden Lolab to their Kuligam camp and interrogated them mercilessly. “The atrocious means adopted by Army to torture us left most of us unconscious. I can’t walk and I am still feeling dizziness,” one of the victims wishing anonymity said.
They said that army accused us of harbouring militants. “We have no connection with militancy and neither we known when militants arrived in our area,” they said adding that army released them all after their condition deteriorated.
The victims alleged that Commanding Officer 35 RR forcibly handed over Rs 1000 (one thousand) note each in their pockets with the direction that they will not reveal anything what happened to them in the army camp.
Locals identified the victims as Muhammad Ashiq Mala, Mushtaq Ahmed Mala sons of Abdul Rashid Mala, Shah Wali Mughal son of Mir Wali Mughal, Javid Ahmed Sheikh son of Sheeren Sheikh and Nazir Ahmed Mala son of Habibullah Mala all residents of Harden Lolab.
Dy SP Sogam Aftab Ahmed said that these people work as potters for the army and they did not complain to police about the incident.
When contacted Srinagar based Defense spokesperson said that he would look into the matter.