SRINAGAR: Young men seen in a widely-shared video heckling and hitting a Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF jawan after the by-election in Srinagar on April 9 have been identified and charged in a police complaint.
In the video, the jawan, apparently returning from a polling booth with his comrades, is kicked on the shin and hit on the head by a mob.
The fully-armed jawan keeps walking calmly with a rifle in his hand. He has been quoted in various reports as saying that he wanted to keep the EVMs or Electronic Voting Machines that he and his colleagues were carrying from the polling station safe.
“The ruffians have been identified and will be proceeded against. I admire the patience of the jawans. Any armed force of this world would have reacted with the use of force in such high provocation,” SP Vaid, top Jammu and Kashmir police officer, told NDTV.
“Had they had opened fire and lost their cool, so many would have lost their lives…parents would have lost their children.”
Eight people died and nearly 100 were injured in unprecedented violence during the by-polls for the Srinagar parliamentary constituency, held in the shadow of a boycott call by separatists. Visuals since then show EVMs being burnt and damaged. The turnout was the lowest in 30 years. Yesterday, the turnout touched another record low as re-polling was held in Srinagar.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said while the anger at the video of the jawan being heckled was understandable, there was also anger in Kashmir over the killings.
“…if you can understand the anger brewing in rest of the country at the video of way the jawans were treated, can you multiply that anger and imagine how people of Kashmir must be feeling at the images of eight people lying dead?” Mr Abdullah told NDTV.