FIRST PERSON

IMRAN MUZAFFAR

Srinagar, Jan 3: What Police did to me on Thursday at Hazratbal on Srinagar outskirts is my testimony of brutality that I went through.
It was a nightmare when the men-in-uniform, who are meant to protect civilians, thrashed me ruthlessly without any provocation at Hazratbal here. They also abused my father, mother, sister, brother and all those I belong to. They threatened me that they would file a charge-sheet against me of “any sort” and have me landed in “any kind of trouble” they wished to. I am a journalist. But I did not tell them so.
At about 12:30 pm, I walked to an ATM outside Kashmir University. There was a lady inside the cabin transacting the money. To my utter shock, there were two more men inside. But these were no ordinary men. They were ‘policemen.’ I asked them can they please get inside only when the lady has finished her transaction as per the bank directive for ATMs.  “And there has to be just one person inside the cabin at a time,” I told them.
The policemen came out in fury and started to abuse me. “You poor creature, don’t you know who we are. We are policemen. Let us take you to Hazratbal chowki, you ***. We shall show you who we are,” one of them said, while pulling me by the collar. They dragged me in the middle of the Hazratbal market to a chowki without listening a word.
One of them pulled me up and threw me to the floor. And then he started to beat me until he was tired. I was crying like a child. I held the policeman’s feet and begged for forgiveness. But he continued to beat me. Then the ‘Munshi’ of concerned police chowki intervened and told him to stop. Still he continued to thrash me.
“Have you gone nuts,” the Munshi asked me. “Don’t you know us.”
The Munshi then terrified me of “things police is doing”. “They could have fired at you and killed. Then what would have you done,” he said.
Sir I just asked them a simple thing… I am sorry,” I said.
“I think you are mentally retarded to have messed up with Police,” the Munshi said.
The policeman who beat me told the Munshi: “Get all family members of this *** here and we will show them too who we are.”
I was on knees and weeping. “I am sorry Sir. Next time it would not happen, I promise.”
The policemen then said, laughing: “We leave, you ***. You poor lad. Ensure you go after washing your face with cold water in the bathroom.”
But I declined to wash my face and begged them to release me. After almost half an hour of the incident, I and three of my colleagues went to the SP Hazratbal Abdul Qayoom with the compliant. “You write an application and we would take action,” he said.
Then the four of us went to Station House Officer Hazratbal. We filed an application. Both the times I had to narrate the brutality which I went through. The SHO said he will look into the matter.
Then in the evening, I called Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone, S M Sahai. I narrated the whole story. “I will look into the matter,” the IGP said.

 

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