Video of youth tied to army jeep to deter protest draws outrage


SRINAGAR: Video footage of a Kashmiri protester tied to an army jeep — apparently in an attempt to keep other protesters from throwing rocks at the vehicle — prompted demands for a probe on Friday.
Tempers flared in Kashmir as people reacted to the video clip, which was shot in the Budgam area and shows the man tied to the fender of the jeep. It was widely shared on social networks, including by the state’s former chief minister, Omar Abdullah.
Police sources said the man was used as a human shield against stone-throwing mobs during a violence-marred by-election in the state’s main constituency of Srinagar on Sunday.
“This young man was TIED to the front of an army jeep to make sure no stones were thrown at the jeep? This is just so shocking!,” Abdullah wrote on Twitter, demanding an urgent inquiry.
An army spokesman said the contents of the video were being investigated. Domestic media reported the video depicted election officials trying to escape a polling station as a mob of stone throwers attacked them.
A local police officer called the act one of self-defence and noted that it helped the officials and personnel exit the area safely. The tied-up man was later handed over to the police.
The incident comes shortly after a different viral video showing paramilitary personnel slapped and kicked by protesters. That one generated outrage in India.
Eight people were killed during polling violence at the weekend.
Separatists had called for a boycott of the Srinagar-Budgam by-poll, which saw 7 per cent polling on April 9, and a mere 2 per cent in the re-poll ordered in 38 stations on Thursday, despite massive security presence.
— dpa