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Kashmir: 3 arrested for slapping Indian soldiers

Civilians arrested for slapping retreating Indian forces; no action taken against soldiers who used a youth as human shield

Kashmir: 3 arrested for slapping Indian soldiers

Civilians arrested for slapping retreating Indian forces; no action taken against soldiers who used a youth as human shield

15 April 2017 Saturday 14:47
Kashmir: 3 arrested for slapping Indian soldiers

Two days after videos showing young Kashmiri protestors slapping and heckling a file of retreating Indian paramilitary personnel in the disputed Kashmir went viral causing outrage in India, the Indian police in Kashmir have arrested three of the boys visible in the video. Police said that they are on the lookout for at least eight more people.

The chief of Police in the disputed Kashmir, S P Vaid, told the media that they lauded the restraint shown by the paramilitary personnel in the video.

"Any armed force in the world would have retaliated with force,” Vaid said. "We have registered an FIR (official compliant) in police station Chadoora against the ruffians who heckled the CRPF personnel. They will be dealt with as per law," Vaid told the media.

The video was taken at a time when the Srinagar constituency in the disputed Kashmir region went for Indian parliamentary by-election amid a massive deployment of Indian armed forces and a complete shutdown of the Internet.

The election saw Srinagar constituency having its lowest turnout in electoral history - 7.17 percent - with several dozen polling booths not seeing even a single vote being cast as protest against the Indian rule.

On Election Day, tens of thousands of people took to the streets shouting pro-independence slogans; several clashes with heavily-armed Indian soldiers were also reported.

Indian armed forces, that Sunday, shot dead eight Kashmiri civilians and injured over 130 others seriously.

Another video that surfaced at the same time showed a 26-year-old Kashmiri man, Farooq Ahmad Dar, tied to an Indian Army jeep being used as a human shield against the stone throwing protestors.

The video came as yet another proof of long standing allegations against the Indian forces of using human shields in Kashmir.

No action has so far been taken against the soldiers of the Rashtriya Rifles unit of the Indian Army that had used the man as a human shield.

Indian Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said: “The contents of the video are being verified and investigated.”

Dar, ironically, was part of the seven percent that voted in the elections on Sunday and was returning from his sister’s home when the Indian soldiers picked him up in Utligam village and strapped him to their vehicle.

“The soldiers damaged my bike, they beat me up with gun butts and sticks and I was almost unconscious when they tied me to the front of the jeep and paraded me through more than a dozen villages,” Dar, a shawl weaver from Chil village in Budgam.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

The two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan. More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.

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