A vignette from the military occupation of Kashmir: getting caught in a hunt to kill operation.
As i was about to enter the main gate of my home, strongly built men in uniform caught me in their gaze, hurriedly they were jumping from the back spaces of their armoured vehicles to distribute their count within no time and hence occupy all the entries and exits of hamlet where i live, this horrified scene still taunts me inside.
As i was about to reach their Casper one of the so called disciplined Indian soldier caught the grab of my collar and humilated my person by repeating the words in their hindi accent ” pheran bahir nikalo jaldi” (put your pheran off immediately), all i was supposed to do was to follow the bark of this tyrant.
Now i realised that the orchard clad hamlet was under cordon and search operation,there they lead me to the orchards and hence made me to make their business less tedious in helping them searching the hiding militants (if any) from the houses near those orchards ( you know indian army often use civilians as Shield in their daily search operations),,,,,as i approached the first house, instead of entering it through the main gate i within no time jumped over the wall bcoz i was already threatened of the consequences if delay. i did same as ordered: opened the doors and windows to make the rooms visible inside, rolled all the matings of those floors and came out from that two storey house. Now a heavenly built soldier puts the barrel of Ak-47 on my shoulder and hides behind my back, that way i had to make him walk inside each and every corner of the house( to get cleared his doubt about the presence of hiding rebels). He even asked me if encounter happens to rage, ‘you will act as shield’, so be cautious !
This trend of using civilians as shields seems to have no end, till date this dastardly act has its hands drenched and its cloaks soaked with the blood of innocent lives.
–by Azhar Shabir