“You are terrorists”: Stranded Kashmiris in Jaipur beaten up by police

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Srinagar: Amidst the nationwide lockdown to contain the COVID-19, Kashmiris stranded in Jaipur, Rajasthan, were allegedly beaten up and harassed by the police when they were out “to buy basic essentials”.

Speaking to The Kashmir Walla, Altaf Dar, a resident of Bandipora, north Kashmir, who has been working as a caterer in Hassanpora, Jaipur, claims that he was beaten up by the police when he had gone out in search of ration in the evening of 29 April.

Dar, 23, added that his group of twenty-five people was short of money and had run out of essentials. “We have no money left after our employer duped us of one lakh rupees,” he says. And now their worries have been amplified, he says, due to the police harassment.

“When we told them that we are from Kashmir, they didn’t listen to us,” Dar says. “Police told us that you are terrorists and are spreading terrorism in Rajasthan.”

Dar explains that he was out with his colleague during the relaxation hours to buy ration. “I and my friend went out to buy ration, but when the police came to know that we are from Kashmir, we were thrashed by police,” Dar alleges. “Another man in mask and civilian-clothes alongside the police also beat us.”

Dar’s roommate, Bilal Ahmad says that he has fallen ill due to the beating by the police. “I have been lying on the bed since I was beaten. The pain is unbearable,” he says. “I was hit on the elbow by policemen.”

A senior police officer talking to The Kashmir Walla says he has taken cognizance of the matter. “Issue has been forwarded to the additional CP [Commissioner of Police],” he says.

Bilal says that he was not able to see a doctor due to lack of money. “We have no money and can’t see a doctor; in fact, we are fasting without even eating anything. Today we only drank water at the Sehri time,” he adds in a broken voice on the phone call. “We appeal to the administration to help us.”

“We have no food, and we are worried,” Dar says, “we are hungry and haven’t eaten anything. If we go outside to buy food — we will be beaten up again.”

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