5 held for assaulting CRPF men; new disturbing J&K videos spark row
Five people were arrested on Friday in connection with the assault on CRPF men during bypoll to the Srinagar parliamentary seat on April 9, while two more disturbing videos went viral, sparking a fresh row in the restive Kashmir valley.
After receiving a complaint from the CRPF, five persons were arrested, and a hunt was on for others seen in the video shot in Budgam district, police said. Budgam accounted for the death of seven of the eight protesters during the poll-day violence.
The video surfaced a day after the polling in which some CRPF personnel were seen walking down a street while being heckled, kicked and punched by youths, setting off a nationwide outrage. There was no retaliation by the security personnel, who quietly walked to their camp as they were under instructions to not open fire, sources in the paramilitary said.
The CRPF had strongly protested with the Jammu and Kashmir police as its personnel and polling staff had abandoned the polling station early, officials said.
Jammu and Kashmir Police chief S P Vaid on Friday lauded the restraint shown by the CRPF jawans and said, "Any armed force in the world would have retaliated with force".
"We have registered an FIR in police station Chadoora against the ruffians who heckled the CRPF personnel. They will be dealt with as per law," Vaid told a news agency.
The DGP said an FIR has also been lodged after a video surfaced in which an ITBP personnel was seen shooting right in the head of a stone-pelting protester outside a polling station in same area.
"A case has been registered in connection with that incident also. It is a matter of investigation and action will be taken against whoever is found guilty," the DGP added.
Officials of the central paramilitary force claimed the local police had abandoned the polling station, leaving the ITBP jawans without any non-lethal riot-control weapon.
The third video showed a youth in Beerwah being tied to an army jeep, ostensibly to be used as a human shield against stone-pelting by rampaging protesters.
The video triggered an outrage, with former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah terming it as "shocking".
The video was reportedly shot in Beerwah, Omar's assembly constituency. "This young man was TIED to the front of an army jeep to make sure no stones were thrown at the jeep? This is just so shocking!" Omar wrote on Twitter.
Will look into Kashmir video issue: Rajnath
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said he will look into the issue of the videos shot in Kashmir, including the one showing a man tied to an army jeep, which has gone viral on the social media.
"Whatever incident happens anywhere, we will look into the issue. I do not have any information on the video as of now," he told a press conference here. The video showed a man tied to an army jeep, purportedly as a human shield against stonepelters, in the Beerwah area of Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on April 9. Singh said, "I have already asked for filing an FIR on the incident (of) CRPF jawans (being heckled) while carrying electronic voting machines."
In that video, a CRPF man on polling duty was seen being heckled by protesters in the Chadoora area of Budgam district. Another video shows a stonepelting protester purportedly being shot dead from close range by security force personnel outside a polling station in Kashmir.
Omar's failure to check stone-pelting in 2010 led to current situation: Mehbooba
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the "failure" of the previous Omar Abdullah government to deal with the issue of stone-pelting had led to the unrest last year and the situation in the Valley at present.
Her remarks came as a response to National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, who had on Thursday said the Mufti government was "financing stone-pelting".
"There was no measures taken with regard to the youths, who took to the streets to hurl stones (in 2010). What steps were taken at that time to check stone-pelting?
No treatment was done.
"It is because of the failure to take steps to treat the ailment. It churned lava (in youths), which exploded suddenly last year and till now, we have not been able to stop this," Mehbooba said.
On Abdullah's charge, she said: "The NC had in 2010 said the PDP, which was in the opposition at that time, was giving money to stone-pelters. Now, Farooq Abdullah is saying the PDP government is paying boys and youths for throwing stones. "Some time ago, Farooq sahab himself said they all (stone-pelters) are nationalists and now he is saying all those nationalists are being paid by the PDP government to resort to stone-pelting. I think Farooq sahab is confused."