The CRPF is examining a video of its personnel being heckled and kicked by unidentified youth, who are also heard asking them to raise “Go India, Go back” slogans. The video, which went viral Wednesday, is believed to have been shot in Budgam during the bypoll for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat on April 9. In the video, the security personnel can be seen showing restraint and not reacting to provocation by the youth. The clip also shows some youth trying to clear a safe passage and warning others not to assault or heckle the securitymen. On Tuesday night, after Internet services were restored in the Valley, anonymous Facebook users uploaded the three-minute-long video in which a youth is seen kicking at one of the securitymen and trying to push him. But the security personnel, carrying a rifle, is seen walking ahead without retaliating.
In the video, one youth is seen trying to force the securitymen to chant “Go India, Go back” slogans before another hits the helmet worn by one of them.
When contacted, CRPF DIG (Srinagar), Sanjay Kumar told The Indian Express that they were trying to ascertain the identities of the personnel shown in the video. “We have taken up this issue with local police for identifying the protesters who heckled the security personnel. We are also trying to find out the securitymen shown in the video clip. Once the securitymen are identified, I will recommend them for an award for showing restraint.’’
CRPF IG (Srinagar) Ravideep Sahi told The Indian Express, “From whatever information we have gathered till now, it seems the video was shot in Budgam. The video is a reflection of the reality we face in Kashmir every day. Our men are under so much stress, it is very difficult to operate. Still, our troops exercise maximum restraint in all situations. The day this video was purportedly shot, I was myself in the Budgam area and saw how CRPF had to face violence at different places and yet exercised restraint.”
Massive violence was witnessed in Srinagar on Sunday as bypolls were held amid a boycott call by separatist groups and militants. The voter turnout — 7.14 per cent — was the lowest in 30 years. At least eight people were reported dead and over 100 were injured in clashes between mobs and security forces. The Anantnag bypoll which was scheduled for Wednesday, has been deferred to May 25.
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