Though army has been running several people friendly initiatives under operation Sadhbavana especially in rural areas, however, these videos are undoing that work and people see this ‘war’ tactics used by army after they are on the back foot due to series of protests and stone pelting incidents.
Srinagar: On Eid to send a good signal among the masses, Army soldiers distributed sweets among the people in different parts of Valley. At many places, the locals where stopped by the men in olive and handed over sweets and good wishes by the army jawans. Even in south Kashmir where protests have been a routine affair since last year even during encounters, army men in jovial mood distributed sweets among people. The message of distributing sweats was aimed to convey a signal that army cares for people despite resentment shown by the masses. However, this cordial atmosphere proved short lived. Only few days after distribution of sweats, videos started circulating on the social networking sites showing army men beating youths and forcing them to chant anti Pakistan and pro India slogans. The youths who were not identified were severely thrashed and abused despite agreeing to the diktats of the soldiers who only few days ago were distributing sweats among people.
The videos that became viral had been shot by the army; one of the videos was pictured inside army vehicle.
In one such video a young man is being thrashed and forced to chant anti Pakistan and pro India slogans. The two army jawans are also seen hurling abuses to the youth even though he chants the slogans to make soldiers in uniform happy. This was not an isolated incident. Barely when this video was in circulation, another video was released in which a young man is caught by a group of soldiers.
The young man is forced to chant – ‘Hindustan Ke Jai, Pakistan Murdabad’. Though, youth obliges the army raising slogans, he is still thrashed. Even when some people who happen to pass through the area try to intervene they too are harassed and hurled abused and warned of similar consequences. These videos were not shot by some reporters or locals, but by the soldiers and have been later released to humiliate people. The incident has come in the backdrop of the incident when army officer tied a young man of Chil Bras on the bonnet of the jeep and used him as a human shield.
If the army is itself leaking these videos, it is provoking the youths of Kashmir for picking up the guns, because these videos are humiliating and against the human dignity. This is not the first time that such videos went viral, earlier also similar videos had surfaced, especially after the April 9 by polls for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat when many videos were leaked on the social networking sites in which army men were seen beating youths.
Though army denies the veracity of these videos but no efforts have been made by the top officials to unveil the truth that has given rise to the impression that the humiliation to youth is a deliberate attempt that has the blessing of the army’s top brass. Though army has been running several people friendly initiatives under operation Sadhbavana especially in rural areas, however, these videos are undoing that work and people see this ‘war’ tactics used by army after they are on the back foot due to series of protests and stone pelting incidents.
While the government is acting tough against the growing graph of militancy and intensified the counter insurgency operations, it also needs to reach out to the common masses in am more humane and friendly manner for the stability and peace in the state. There have been reports in the past when the youth who opted for the gun accused security forces for harassing them for their no mistake.