Yes, I’m a stone thrower

Stone throwing in Srinagar's downtown area after Afzal Guru's hanging in February this year.
Stone throwing in Srinagar's downtown area after Afzal Guru's hanging in February this year.
Stone throwing in Srinagar’s downtown area after Afzal Guru’s hanging in February this year.

By Yusra Khan


[A]fter spending three years in jail, he still says “Yes, I’m a stone thrower.” Born on the11th of February 1991, Aarif Baba* has two historical events associated with his birth date. 11th February is the day Mohammad Maqbool Butt, considered one of the founders of Kashmir’s freedom movement, was hanged and 1991 is the peak year of resistance in Kashmir. Like Butt, Baba too wants to see Kashmir prosper as an independent nation.

Ever since his childhood, Baba has been drawn to stone throwing. At first, stone throwing was purely for fun but the 2008 mass protests changed his view. “I took stone throwing seriously when Sheikh Abdul Aziz was killed in 2008,” says Baba. Aziz was killed when protesters from Srinagar and other adjoining areas went on to march towards Muzaffarabad, across Line of Control. “I was part of the march in which Aziz Sahib was killed. Since that day, stone throwing has been a weapon for me to fight the oppression of Indian forces and the Jammu and Kashmir police.”

Baba was arrested in November 2008 from his residence in Srinagar and was put behind bars for 27 days at various police stations in the capital city. “In those twenty seven days, the police shifted me from one police station to another. I was kept at police stations in Sadder, Baghat, Shaheed Gunj, Shergari, Batamalloo and Cargo,” says Baba.

The Police identified Aarif in a video uploaded on Facebook, and arrested him on charges of stone throwing. “The video was shot while I was setting a police vehicle on fire at Bemina,” states Baba. He was released after a month when his family paid some amount of money to the police. Within a week, he was rearrested. Later released on bail, he grew cautious to a degree and was never arrested in 2009, despite his ongoing stone throwing activities.

“’The police did not arrest me in 2009 but I had to visit police stations and court hearings since there were ten FIRs filed against me,” he says. In late 2009, Baba was inclined to quit throwing stones because of his family’s growing concern but he could not give up the “dream of seeing his independent nation” and hence did not quit just for the sake of his family.

Baba was rearrested in 2010 when he and his fellow stone throwers attacked the vehicle of Nasir Aslam Wani, the then Home Minister of State, on the national highway near Bemina in the outskirts of the city. He was slapped with the Public Safety act (PSA) and sent to Central Jail, Srinagar for one year. Later, he was shifted to Kot Balwal jail in Jammu for another year.

[pullquote]I was given electric shocks on my private parts. My back was roasted….The officials once told me that if I would become their source, they would set me free.[/pullquote]“I was scared when the police would put chains around my hands. I entered the jail with my fellows and some leaders of Muslim League and Hurriyat (G) were also accompanying us. The officials treated us like we were criminals. They even removed my pants which disturbed me the most,” recalls Baba.

In jail, he was locked alone in a cell where he was tortured to such an extent that he was hospitalized for four days at Janipur hospital, Jammu. “Rajni Sehgal, the then Superintendent of Jail, tortured me herself. I was given electric shocks on my private parts. My back was roasted. After I was discharged from the hospital, I was again locked up with criminals, against which I did a hunger strike for seven days. The officials once told me that if I would become their source, they would set me free.”

The Jammu and Kashmir police offered him employment which he denied because his “soul did not allow him to sell the blood of martyrs.” Baba has no faith in the government, police, or law. “Our state is run by the police. The National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, and Congress are no longer governing the state,” says Baba, adding, “It is the police that are running the main stream political parties. The police are government, courts, and law here. They can do anything and are not answerable to anyone.”

[pullquote]If we pick up guns then India will call us terrorists but throwing stones is not terrorism. Stone throwing weakens India.[/pullquote]While questioning the different attitude of the police towards the people of Kashmir, Baba asks why water cannons used in other parts of India cannot be used in Kashmir. “If the police and Central Reserve Police Force want to disrupt protests, they can use water cannons but in Kashmir they use bullets, batons, pepper gas, and tear gas shells,” says Baba.

He believes stone throwing is the only way to achieve azadi. Without violent bloodshed, stone throwing allows for voices to be raised and shows oppressors that there is still fighting spirit in the people they seek to subdue. However, Baba strongly discourages the use of guns.  “If we pick up guns then India will call us terrorists but throwing stones is not terrorism. Stone throwing weakens India.”

“No one funds us!” he says. “Why do we need money for throwing stones? We do it out of emotion. We play with our lives only to see the dawn of azadi. How can we sell our nation?” Putting his full faith on the leadership of Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Hurriyat Conference, a pro-referendum separatist leader, Baba finds a role model in him. He supports him and all other separatists like Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Yasin Malik, and claims that they are the people who can set us free. “As long as I’m alive, I’m with them,” he says.

Believing that the azadi will one day come, Baba is ready to sacrifice himself on the path of freedom. “I will struggle for azadi until my last breath. One day we will be free and independent. Azadi has to come and it will, Insha Allah. No India. No Pakistan. Only azadi,” vows Baba.

*The name has been changed, on demand, for the safety of the person.

Photograph by Anam Lone

23 COMMENTS

  1. “I will keep throwing stones till I am alive..!”

    Hmm. Here is a ‘May Lord Krishna Bless Your Soul’ in advance from my side!

    By the way, it is amusing to know that this ‘stoned’ fighter is not afraid of death but is scared sh*t of using his own name.

    Allah is Great!

    Jai Hind!

    • Yes we arent afraid of death because death is the only truth,.. and if we have to die why not to die for a cause. and afraid of unveiling name of our brothers as we want death with respect, fighting for our people, and dying in the battle field not suicide.. but you cnt understand/.

      • @ Syed Romisa

        Well said. I suggest you stop wasting time in typing bullcr*p comments here and do what your heart tells you. The RR camp near your home has enough bullets to take care of you.

        I look forward to reading your anem in Greater Kashmir paper!

        India will anyway win this fight because Allah is on her side. Allah has always been with India. For centuries.

        High time you fools understood! :)

  2. @Sanjeev Ji for the first time you have not used your famous words

    ” 1. your movmenet is Unislamic 2.India has to no option but to fight”

    May Lord Krishna show to Path towards ALLAH

    As HE Shown us Kashmiri…AllAH-ABKBAR

  3. @ Gulzar Khan,

    I avoid repeating the same old tired cliches. I am not a rage-blind murder-minded, linguistically-challenged Kashmiri Jihadi, you know! :)

    • YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A BLIND FOLLOWER OF SO CALLED DEMOCRACY… EVERY EVIL IS PRESENT IN YOUR COUNTRY, RAPES MURDERS CORRUPTION.. YOU KILL YOUR DAUGHTERS, RAPE IS NORMAL THING.. ILLEGAL POSSESION,, PEOPLE ARE DYING WITH HUNGER, SLUMS ARE ON EVERY NOOK N CORNER.. STILL YOU WIULL SHOUT INDIA THIS AND THAT.. OH COMEON OPEN YOUR EYES.. SO CALLEN INDIAN dEMON CRAZY THE SHINING INDIA IS VERY HOLLOW FROM INSIDE…

      • @ Syed Romisa

        Thank you for the analysis. Typing in block capitals is the online equivalent of screaming alone in the street.

        Your points are well known to us and rest assured there are Indians who work towards eliminating these evils from amongst us. However, if you think this justifies your blood-soaked, hate-fired Jihad, then I must say AFSPA rocks!!

        Stop hating blindly, my friend. You will be able to love India.

        Not that it matters. If your hearts and minds are not available to Indians, we dont mind grabbing your b*lls! :)

      • If you feel happy thinking the negatives of India, so be it.
        India is also the nation where people have loads of fun, live freely and happily. Some silly idiots travel all the way with bombs once in a while. Except that its a cool place. May those silly idiots be forgived by god, coz they dont know what they r doing.

  4. @ Gulzar Khan,

    Lord Krishna knows who to bless and who to whack!

    You would have understood by now, that no amount of fundamentalist provocation will either incite India to undertake mindless acts in J&K or demoralise her to give in to the demands of Jihadi fanatics.

    Wake up and smell the coffee. It is halaal! Besides, the venomous Jihadis, with their blood-soaked ideology, are hurting harmless fellow Muslims and distracting them from their path of devotion.

    Do I make sense? :)

  5. U go loser…throw stone for your entire life but Kashmir shall always be India’s. How stupid that you have wasting your youthful life for such stupid demand. I am from NE India where we are totally different from the Indian masses racially, culturally etc but we still love India and shall continue to do so. Learn from us..jai hind!

    • absolutely right.

      if he wishes to be a “stone thrower” let be it. Who is there to change his wish. he is a complete loser who wants to feel proud in his silly act… i have my sympathies for him. He could have done lot of better things than doing this.

  6. @idiots… Err not idiots just indians(coz dat z greatest ridicule in itself)…
    If wishes were horses,beggers would ride, if it was 4 u to decide our(Kashmir n kashmiris) fate then may b i had to wry but dnt think dat 8 lac armed indian terrorists in uniform in KMR have dat, itz in our with the help of Allah.. Indian fascist and Nazi holistic policy z conspicious.. Dnt wry u n ur armed terrorists wil be wiped off kashmir, u goin 4 our balls z just showin how gay ppl u hav in ur slumland n if u r a girl dat just shows dat indian men r goin impotent and dey look 4 balls of Kashmiri men…
    No indians nvr make sense, wen it comes to KMR in particular, itz ur soul which z drenched and stained with the blood dat u have spilled of innocent Kashmiris n u still feel u have head over ur neck to say that india not to do any mindless acts in KMR as if rapes, fake encounters, innocent killings r mindfull ones but yeah um sry after all this z hw indian corroupt holistic mind works, every1 knws how u treat ur own daughters n wat we can xpect…
    Refferin to the guy frm NEI, u said stupid demand widout knwing anything abt K-issue just u blindly loving n u tellin us to love ppl n cntry who kill,rape, murder, molest ppl in Kmr day in n day out n just lemme hav a laugh first, diff culture but still luv india, hw does dat legitimise us loving an occupying country who r adamant to wipe off Kashmiris…
    Nonetheless, its useless to make u ppl understand but yeah may be if nt nw later u might understand n accept truth…The underlings are usually quite a match for the rogues in power whom they serve….!! Soch samaj walun ko thodi naadani de maula…!!

    • @ jazeemat

      Wasted effort. Next time, please type in full words and use correct spellings. I may at least read your comment, if not necessarily agree with it.

  7. @sanjeev… how did u knw dez are incorrect spellings, wen u didn’t read…
    Gud beat around the bush, wen u dnt hav a reply…!! Wil pray 4 ur sanity…!

  8. @sanjeev… how did u knw dez are incorrect spellings, wen u didn’t read…
    Gud beat around the bush, wen u dnt hav a reply…!! Wil pray 4 ur sanity…!
    P.S: keep dictionary handy when u wil read the cmnt…

    • @ Jazeemat

      I read this comment too, just as I read the last one. You are using sms language in your comments. It may be your choice, but it may make people skip the comment.

      I will read it anyway, be assured, Sir!

      I am grateful to learn you prayed for me. You may like to pray to Alah to bestow sanity upon the insane murderers who call themselves Jihadi, lest they go on with their foul deeds and end up in Dojakh! :)

      I have a dictionary but can you lend me yours? Probably it will contain the spellings you used. :)

      Can we get the discussion back upon the subject now? With full spellings?

      • here this is where I will spam you now…..ready here it is..you know why spamming you is relevant? To denounce the denouncer..ol man :)

        If you do not want personal attacks on yourself get the fuck out out the kitchen pal..you bring it upon yourself by spewing hate & dividing people ..your ideology is fuckt!

        Ran out of lies, deception, coercion and innuendo ??

        Or perhaps you are busy with planning that yamraj visit :)

        Mr Sanjeev Patwardhan

        HAHAHA …. Too much…

        Here Im gonna do it again…you klutz..I feel sad …no I don’t never mind..

        My life is fine, thanks for your sarcastic concern. As a Harvard Alum I enjoy life in more ways than you can imagine.

        Like I said that fast approaching door to senility & retirement has made you go loony..Keep you your loony tunes ..ol man :)

        Oh did I mention..eat a dick you parasite !!!

        :)
        Sanjeeev is a Liar, deceiver, & a Charlatan. Confront him with anything he will label your argument as a ‘jihadi’ etc etc.. Him & the like are only in here for to spread malcontent. They are the sort that after the army kills bystanders, terms it ‘alleged killing’ while on the same hand when a few ‘mighty’ gun trotting jawans are killed you hear from them “jawans were butchered” another ploy of the hegemonic beast. He is nothing but a tool.

        what scholarly work has he done, all he does is denounce scholars and those that speak out against the brutality.

        Soon he will be visited by yamraj and be born again as an e-coli inside a homosexuals rectum. This he may enjoy ….here is a smiley face ol man :)

        Btw I use your name to prove a point, well…call it a test..

        If there are truly Jihadi elements about India, the bogeymen which you have been conjuring..well it cant be that difficult for them to track you and then…the ol yamraj :) this will prove you correct ol man :) but alas you will not be around to celebrate, as you will be getting a hot load across your cell membrane in the rectum you will back in :)

        • The above comment contains nothing other than personal attacks. It fails to take the discussion forward in any manner. Qualifies as spam and hence not worthy of a reply.

  9. haha if its truly spam then move the fuck along..nothing to see here..

    No its isn’t spam..who made you police of the spam patrol….oh wait..NOBODY

    so STFU..

    Mr. Sanjeev Pathwardan

    The fact that you are still alive proves your conjuring of Jihadi bogeymen as a moot point.

    Yet here you are responding?? Trying to get in nothing but a last word. You deserve all of those personal attacks, for what you have perpetuated here.

    It’s a little shady to me, as it should be to others that you have been missing from this Particular Forum since the inception of the Kistwar/ Jammu riots.

    To Reiterate..

    Mr. Sanjeev Patwardan has time & again shown to be a divider not a Uniter, he fuels the flames of separation & hatred. His posts speak for themselves.

    Do not be taken in by his double talk & his charlatan approach to responding.

    His clever labeling & demagoguery are all just a ploy, simple attempts to save face.

    STFU ol man.you are getting senile by the day & its showing. :)

    You have no legs to stand upon. GO TO HELL ! & Eat a Dick.

    Warm regards :)

  10. I am appalled by the utter stupidity of these so called stone throwers who work for 50 rupee and 100 rupee per stone. Shame on you losers for glorifying this act of nonsense. Which Independence are you talking of?
    You thrive on Indian Land. You eat Indian food. You work in Indian Government sectors. And then you want to claim Aazadhi. Don’t you guys have any self esteem. If you really had one, try being truly independent for 1 week. If the national highway is stopped for 2 weeks, you people will die of starvation. You should be thankful to India that this territory did not go to Pakistan. In case, any of you would have read a newspaper in past 60 years, you can easily imagine what abysmal level of living you could have fallen into.
    You should all say sorry to India. Accept this country as your motherland. Salute it. Be a part of it and shun this bullshit of Aazadi and Islamisation. This will bring more and more misery to you and nothing else. You can write as may books and columns, but the truth is that you guys will keep dying and that’s the only result of this activity. You yourself can count the number of deaths since 1990. It is more than 1 lac and tell me one point you have made progress in except for counting them correctly.
    Stop this crap now and open your eyes to reality. You are messing with India not some sub-saharan country of size of a bowl.

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