Twenty-seven-year-old Insha Wahid received a phone call on Saturday while she was preparing lunch at her in-laws’ home in the Rajbagh area of Srinagar.
On the other side of the call, it was her worried mother asking her to reach home in the Hyderpora locality of Srinagar. Not thinking about anything else, Wahid drove her car straight to her mother’s home. After a drive of 25 minutes, she found hundreds of gun-wielding forces personnel standing guard.
The make-up artist, Wahid, was numb and shocked to see so many forces’ personnel at her mother’s home. “There were women police personnel too and they were misbehaving with my family members,” Wahid told The Kashmir Walla.
The family, as per Wahid, was harassed at the behest of their influential neighbor Mukhtar Shah. “He is a goon and has influenced everyone, be it press, police, or higher authorities. In fact, we once went to one official who promised to look into the matter, however later he backed off and we came to know Shah had influenced him too,” she claimed.
On the same day, a video went viral on social media, in the video a terrified woman identifying herself as Aaliya Wahid can be heard talking about the harassment and abuse meted out to the family.
“They manhandled us, they beat us,” Aliya says in the video. “They bought hundred people in a police vehicle to manhandle us, they hit us. They did not wait for us to show proof of our property.”
Adding that the case has been going on for over a year, she says, “This property is common between us and our neighbors. But he is building an illegal gate on our property. They hit my mother and grandmother,” Aliya says in the video as she points towards the posse of forces personnel, who are clearly visible.
“There is a stay order on this property, share this video as much as you can,” she pleads.
She further says in the video, “He is taking this property, we have the proper papers. He is taking over the property illegally. Help us, please, they can even murder us, we are only three women in our house.”
In the video, Aliya’s mother also can be seen wailing.
“I am alone with three daughters,” the women can be heard saying. “When he could not do it legally, he used his influence.”
But on Sunday police refuted the allegations about using force. In a statement, police said that the truth about the video being circulated on social media by a lady leveling allegations of use of force or rather show of force by police is not based on facts.
Adding that there is a long pending dispute pending between the two parties on a pathway and is sub judice in different forums. “A case FIR No.458/2020 under sections 379, 451 and 506 IPC stands already registered at Police Station Budgam and the investigation into the matter is going on,” the statement read.
“The police party was on the spot to assist in the implementation of the order issued by Tehsildar South City Srinagar for which proper communication and request was made by concerned revenue authorities in writing. No use of force was made or any misbehavior was done by Police,” it adds.
However, Wahid termed the police refutation as a lie. “The video has been shot live, how could it be staged, we had no other option but to film everything,” she explained.
Adding that the family had no option but to film the act, “Our father died two years ago, no male was here. What could have women done against a goon, we are three daughters of our late father. We have a mother and a grandmother.”
She said that right after their father’s death Mukhtar started torturing them, “It is a common lane between us, we have electric poles here, he tried to remove electric poles last Sunday. We asked him why he was doing it, to which he replied: “I am doing illegal, do whatever you can, use as much power you have, I am going to do what I have to,” she claimed.
Wahid says that being women, unfortunately, nobody listens, “we went to different departments, but sadly we are treated like nobody. “Women are unheard in Kashmir,” she adds.