Everyone who belongs to Kashmir has to taste the bitter feeling of being occupied. The feeling comes mostly due to harassment one faces at the hands of government forces in the Valley.
We have had our share of the scary moment too. It all happened on December 09, 2018 when we were moving towards a training camp at Arizal in central Kashmir’s Budgam, where we provide free English and Computer classes as a social activity.
My friend, Syed Rizwan from Ichagam wanted to learn driving motorbike and had asked for a short drive after we crossed Arigam Army base camp. Initially, I refused but later he urged again for a short drive so I gave in.
Rizwan took over to start driving while I occupied the back seat. We were approaching towards main passenger shed of Arigam (a village in Budgam) and within a minute of passing through the village, there was an Indian Army convoy patrolling by the road.
One among the Army men suddenly raised his gun and unknowingly blocked our way. Rizwan shouted “Side! Side!” in high pitch. This irritated another Army man who got angry and again blocked our way intentionally.
I had to use disc brake to stop the bike even though my speed was not more than 20 km per hour. Suddenly, around five Army men gathered around us and one among them started hurling abuses.
One among the Army men was about to harass us physically but I stopped him by disclosing my identity as a freelance journalist and social activist.
The Army men, however, pointed their guns towards us and treated like we got no right to talk and prove our innocence. They snatched our mobile phones and collected all the personal information about us like name, address, etc.
Later, they had a word over phone with S.H.O Khansahib and called the Sarpanch of the village on the spot. Ironically, they recorded a video while leaving us and blamed us of shouting pro-freedom slogans!
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