SRINAGAR: Indian forces continue to humiliate the innocent Kashmiris as a new episode generated outrage among the local populace in Held Kashmir, reported foreign media.
According to details, an 11-year-old boy Mir Mehran and his friend were stopped by Indian paramilitary soldiers who mocked them and questioned why they were out walking and then punished the boys in the street.
“They asked us to hold our earlobes and do sit-ups for 10 times. As we were doing so, they laughed at us,” Mehran said, photographs began circulating and sparked outrage among local Kashmiris.
The other boy quickly did the sit-ups and then ran away, but Mir said he was too terrified and waited until the soldiers allowed him to go. He said that later that evening, “I was thinking they could have killed me or done something else. I was scared.”
Seeing Kashmiri residents doing calisthenics on the side of the road was common in the 1990s, as government forces sought to humiliate people as a way of dissuading any support for armed rebels fighting against Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan territory. As the rebellion was crushed, Indian soldiers mostly stopped using public sit-ups as a form of punishment.
So when photos appeared on social media, showing the skinny boy in a red sweater forced to sit, squat and crunch awkwardly while surrounded by armed soldiers in riot gear, Kashmiris were outraged. Some called the episode “shameful”, with one person saying it represented Indian subjugation at its peak.
Mir’s father was relieved as his son’s experience wasn’t worse, “This is wrong and tyrannical against a child,” said Mohammed Qayoom Mir, a clerk in a government office. “They spare neither elders nor children. Thank God they made him do only sit-ups and didn’t beat him up.”
“A child being humiliated by soldiers, this is a devastating sight for any parent,” said rights activist Khurram Parvez in a message posted on Facebook.
Systematic abuse and unjustified arrests by the Indian forces are a common phenomenon in the occupied territory.
India’s paramilitary force said it would investigate the incident.
“We’ll check out and identify the troops. If there has been any wrongdoing, action will be taken,” said spokesman Bhavesh Chaudhary of Central Reserve Police Force, without elaborating what sort of action might be taken.