A security guard stands at a roadblock in Kashmir on Aug. By Rana Ayyub
On Aug. 6, days after the Indian government revoked Kashmir’s special status, Mohammed Ashiq, 13, had gone to sleep on the carpet of his family’s modest home after playing with the lamb his father had brought home to sacrifice on Eid al-Adha, which was a week away. Late that night, he heard a loud scream followed by some noises on the roof of his house.
His mother rushed to his side before a group of men in uniform barged in. His father, Yunus Mohammed, told me in an interview during my recent visit to Kashmir that a man with a red mask on his face entered, followed by close to 30 officers from the Jammu and Kashmir police. Six or seven police vans stood outside the house. “They snatched my young boy from my wife’s arms and started beating him,” Mohammed said. “They asked him to give the whereabouts of stone pelters.”
Ashiq was dragged out of the house and thrown into a police van, which disappeared into the darkness. The next morning, when his father went to the police station, Ashiq had red eyes from crying through the night. He told his father that the officers had tied his hands to a pole and beat him with a stick all night.
When I reached Ashiq’s house, his parents were reluctant to talk. After much persuasion, they called Ashiq, who had been playing cricket with his friends outside. He removed his T-shirt, drenched in sweat, to show the cuts and bruises covering his back. He screams in pain when his father tries to touch one of the wound marks. “The SP saheb (superintendent of police) beat me the night I was dragged to the police station,” he told me. “There were other boys in the van. When I told them I studied in class eight in school and knew nothing about the protests, they would start beating me again.”
Ashiq’s father, who runs a fruit shop, said he wanted to file a complaint against the police — but he knows there cannot be justice from this government that claims to be liberating the valley but is attempting to crush the spirit of every Kashmiri. After 18 days of detention, Ashiq was released with physical and psychological scars that he will carry the rest of his life. The lamb that was brought to be sacrificed is still tied in the veranda.What’s really going on in Kashmir? | The Fact Checker
Outside the Rajbagh Police station in Srinagar, hundreds of anxious parents waited to get a glimpse of their children, who have been rounded up and detained. Officers surrounded mothers as they wept, carrying food for their children.