When we think of Kashmir, beautiful mountains and valleys come in our mind, but have you heard the cries in these mountains? This has been happening over the past week.
On Wednesday, Indian forces brutally murdered a youngster for not stopping at the checkpoint, an accusation witnesses have disputed. Moreover, in the district of Budgam, Indian forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police had ransackened an entire village and continued to intimidate the residents.
The women fear their lives and sleep together in one room rather than sleeping in their own houses. This is so because the males have to sleep outside the villages as the Indian troops are routinely picking them up from their homes.
The night raids by the Indian force and the Jammu and Kashmir police in Nasrullah Pora village in central Kashmir district of Budgam since last Friday have left the women in terror.
Across the village, shreds of glasses lie all over the street. Houses are damaged. Shops are burnt and goods have been looted.
The troops have not only beaten youngsters but also old men and women who tried to save them. The scars shown by them portrays their pain.
“They were carrying axes, knives, guns, peppery spray, whoever dared to talk or say anything they sprayed something on his face,” said one 19-year-old girl.
It started on Friday, May 8. When 15,000 men gathered for the Friday prayer in the local mosque. The forces objected to the prayers being held, citing the Covid-19 lockdown.
“The police officer first entered the mosque with his shoes on which infuriated everyone. Clashes took place,” one resident said.“[The police officer] suffered injuries in the clashes and after that many police raids followed and they went berserk in the village.”
The officers entered the houses and threw food put or either mixed them with kerosene or red chilli.They entered the bedrooms and broke the pots and cupboards and demolished the appliances.The shops were looted and burnt with the goods inside them.
“They looted everything from our home. They even broke the feeder of my seven-month- old daughter. They mixed rice with shreds of glass and all spices. They sprayed us with something making us unconscious. We were just begging them to leave us,” she said, with tears in her eyes.
Another women told, “I feared for my two young daughters, they were beasts not humans. I jumped out with my two daughters 17 and 19. They broke all lights, switch boxes and took away whatever they could. They did not let us talk, my body still shivers” she said. “I feared the worst as there were no men at home.”
After the incident, the Azaan since then has been stopped. No one has been to the mosque since. The turmoil has made it difficult to fast.
As the evening falls, young and old men leave the village as they fear the forces might arrest them if they come, leaving their women alone.
“My son was sleeping in the graveyard the whole day and I went to him with water. The police are forcing our children to pick up guns. Why are they not letting us live?” Hafeeza said.
“We live under Zulm (oppression). We will let our children pick up guns but won’t let them be arrested and be falsely implicated and tortured. We have lost our peace,” said another woman pointing to her teenage age son who has stayed away from home over the past week.
A 17 year old girl said that she was beaten by the troops when she tried to save her 70 year old grandfather as they came up to beat him. She showed her scars on the hand which she was unable to lift due to injury.
“I told them that he is old, that they shouldn’t beat him, but they beat his feet and ankles with a gun. I tried to shield my grandfather. They slapped me repeatedly and kicked my aunt also who fell down,” she said.
The vehicles in the village were kicked in with their windows smashed.
“They shouted at the women and abused us. They told us to raise your hands and tell them who wants to go to Burhan Wani, who wants to marry Salahuddin. We feel very unsafe,” another woman said. “We want freedom and we will continue to say it.”
BY :- ALVEERA HAFEEZ