Young Kashmiri blown to pieces for tearing posters of renegade

Yusuf, a young man from Kashmir was blown to pieces, tied to a mine and a boulder in a local forest by the Indian Army on 3rd February 1999 without any substaintial proof that he was part of a militant outfit. He was picked up the night before the fateful incident on what his family claims on the direction of a member of Ikhwan (a pro-military militant outfit in Kashmir), Abdul Rashid Billa after Gulzar failed to pay the extortion money to him. Gulzar and his family had already paid extortion worth Rs. 50,000 before to the militant outfit.

He was being repeatedly threatened by the for tearing up a poster of Kukka Parray, the founder of Ikhwan. Mohammad Yusuf Parray, aka Kuka Parry was a Kashmiri folk singer-turned militant who later turned into a renegade and began cooperating with the Army to carry out the dirty counterinsurgent wars, after having surrendered to the Indian security forces in 1993. Yusuf was tortured in the army camp of Chak Hajin for two days as his father and brother helplessly heard his painful cries, anxiosly waiting outside for his release; following which he was blown to pieces by a mine.

Later, the family was harassed by the Army and the Ikhwan to remove the FIR that they had filed after Yusuf’s abduction. “They asked me if I want to live or pursue the care,” Ataullah Bhat, Yusuf’s brother said. Fearing his life, the family decided to drop the charges. Gulzar’s mother Fatima says, “If my son was associated to any outfit, we wouldn’t have felt bad for him. He would have deserved it. But he was innocent. In December 2002, Deputy Commisioner Barahmulla, based on reports admitted that Gulzar was not involved in any submersive activities. However, two decades later even today no action has been taken against the perpetrators.

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