SRINAGAR: After performing my professional duties on August 17, I was heading home when my mother rang me up and asked me to get some vegetables on the way if possible. I took the Jawahar Nagar route as usual and found a vegetable vendor winding up his shop near Cash-and-Carry departmental store at around 7:45 pm. I rushed toward the shop and asked him for onions. There were three men outside the shop helping each other.

All of them welcomed me and said it will take them another five minutes to finish their work and offered me to take away some vegetables.

While one of the salesmen was weighing onions, I asked him if the route to Baghat Barzulla was safe. He replied that it was safe and instead of taking Ramzana Hospital street I should just go from Jawahar Nagar bund.

The moment he handed over the bag of vegetables to me, a white Rakshak police vehicle stopped in front of the shop and around 8 to 10 men in uniform with their “Commanding Officer” jumped out the vehicle carrying bamboo and steel sticks in their hands besides lethal weapons.

All of them rushed toward the shop and started beating and abusing the three shopkeepers and me.

I froze for a moment and couldn’t move but seeing the salesmen beaten up so mercilessly, I tried to pacify them. I urged them to stop or at least have mercy on me.

I politely said: “Sir can’t you see I am standing here.” But they did not stop. Instead, they started hurling choicest of abuses at me.

Let me frankly explain what they exactly said.

Although, the lines may disturb you but let me bring the real faces out and tell them that their dirty hands shall never fall on anyone else in the future.

R***di tu yehan kya kar rahi hai,” shouted one of the policemen.

Bizarrely, he was having a two-inch beard as I faintly remember. Hearing this, I was about to collapse but somehow gathered courage and tried not to fall. I couldn’t speak a word but my eyes were wet.

After this, they ran amok and hit me thrice on my left upper arm. I didn’t bleed but my heart did. I tried to stop them by showing my photo identity card and informed them that I was a journalist and was returning home from office.

But they took my identity card and threw it away without seeing it.

The one who hit me was the commanding IPS officer Amod Ashok Nagpure. His team, who were all local Kashmir policemen, also hurled abuses at me.

Let me list them first so that you can imagine the atrocity I faced although I cannot share all of them because I believe even the devil would vacillate to say or write those abuses. So here I pen down few of them to give you an idea what could have been next.

“Kuttiya yehan danda karne aayi thi; Tera baap kahan hai; H********i baagh yehan se tere ko dikh nahi raha hai night curfew lagaya hai humne… Dafa ho ja yehan se behaya ladki warna goliyan saari tumai daal ki dafa karenge… Saali tu kar kya rahi hai itni raat ko bahar, ye dukaandaar tera baap hai.”

At last they screamed “Tera baap margaya kya aur tera bhai wo be mar gaya kya” and told me to ask them to come out and buy vegetables, to which I replied, “Yes, they are dead and you shot them dead.” This was my only reply that I could give them. With this they chased me to my car and started smashing it while continuing to abuse me.

I sat inside my car and locked up all the doors to protect myself. Not feeling ashamed of what they did, the IPS officer Nagpure stood near my car and started punching the windowpane where I was sitting. I asked him not to harass me else I would call his higher ups to intervene.

Hearing this, he stood there in confidence and told me: “Oh! You are going to call the IGP or DGP. Just go on and tell them SDPO Sadder is here. Wo kya karega DGP mai bi dekhta hu.”

Till now he had no idea that I was really calling DGP K Rajendra Kumar, who fortunately received my call.

But as soon as this IPS officer saw me dialing the right number, he ran away like a mouse with his team.

When they left, I spoke to the DGP who honestly was very nice to me and even offered help. I refused because my colleagues were already on way. The DGP apologized and also gave me a word that he would take strict action against the officer.

I was left there at Allah’s mercy until my colleagues came to my rescue. Respect and high regards to them. They took me home safely.

Even four days after the incident, there has been no action against the IPS officer.

(Courtesy: Rising Kashmir. Sumaiya Yousuf works with Rising Kashmir, published from Srinagar) (Photo Basit Zargar)