Two young men were traveling in a car today near Rafiabad in the Baramulla district of north Kashmir when Indian paramilitary soldiers stopped their vehicle & checked their fingers for the stamp proving they had voted. When they didn’t find it, they interrogated the men about why they didn’t vote in the Indian elections & then beat the living daylights out of them for not voting. Adil Ahmad Rather & Tariq Ahmad Rather both ended up in a hospital for their injuries.
Soon after residents of the area heard of the assault, they took to the streets in protest, blocking the Handwara-Baramulla National Highway which is the highway closed down to Kashmiris on Sunday & Wednesday so Indian military convoys can travel through. The protesters demanded harsh action against the occupying soldiers, saying “we are not even safe in our own localities.” Who knew that in Kashmir one could be beaten to a pulp for not voting in an election rigged top to bottom against them?
One news agency reported that a FIR (a formal accusation of a criminal offense) has been registered against the soldiers & that a criminal investigation will be pursued. That would be at odds with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which gives the Indian occupying army complete impunity for human rights & war crimes committed in Kashmir. The odds that these young men will get justice for being beaten up are in the realm of fat chance.
End the occupation of Kashmir. Self-Determination for Kashmir.
(Video is one of the young men after the assault.)