Is the Jammu and Kashmir Police a private, leaderless, unaccountable militia force that can go about beating up anyone they like in the name of saving Kashmir for India?
Well known Indian author and journalist David Devadas, a fellow with the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi and author of a book on Kashmir, was beaten up by personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Police in Srinagar on September 5. Sheela Bhatt reports on Rediff.com:
In a letter written to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Devadas said that on September 5, when he was crossing the Rambagh bridge in his car in evening in heavy traffic, he heard a loud bang at the back of his car. His car was hit by another car.
It was a security vehicle which was part of a convoy. One of the vehicles had a car flying the national flag. Devadas claims, “Those who were in this convoy had apparently got the impression that my car was obstructing their way, and became angry with me for this reason.”
The story only begins there:
In few minutes, more policemen came and started hitting him with hands and metal lathis and abused him. In spite of such serious assault, policemen have filed an FIR against Davadas, saying that he made a `jaan-leva hamla’ (lethal attack) against them when their convoy had passed his car.
Devadas says, “At no point of time during this incident did I resort to using force against police persons, even in self-defence. They further made a baseless allegation that I had a pistol. I do not own any pistol, and I made it clear to them that I was not carrying any pistol. On mentioning that I was a journalist, they threatened that they would teach me a lesson in the police station. Further, they continued to use profanities and issued threats.”
Read the full report here. And don’t expect anyone to be brought to book.
Do wonder: if this is what a well-known Indian writer faces in Kashmir, what does the average Kashmiri face?