A Kashmir youth who escaped from police custody two weeks ago has released a video, in which he says oppression forced him to join militancy. The youth, Zubair Ahmad Turray, has said in the video that he was in jail for four years under the Public Safety Act on the charge of stone-pelting.
In the video released on Sunday evening, Turray is seen wearing an olive green uniform and posing behind guns and grenades. He identifies himself as the man “who escaped from police custody some days ago”. “The reasons for my escape were painful but oppression forced me to do it… I had no other option,” he said.
The Shopian resident said he was kept behind the bars by circumventing the judicial process. “I was under custody for the past four years. In these four years, PSA was slapped against me eight times,” he said. “Whenever I knocked the door of the high court, whenever my respected father made efforts (for my release) and a PSA case was quashed, they would slap another PSA case against me. After quashing of one case, they (police) would detain me illegally for three months and then slap another. This process continued for four years,” he claimed.
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Turray said this led him to become a militant. “When I could not see hope, I had only one way —that was to join the Mujahideen,” he said. “God’s help was with me and today I am among the Mujahideen”.
Reacting to the video, J&K’s Director-General of Police S P Vaid told The Indian Express, “Did I tell him to become a militant? He has voluntarily become one,” Vaid said. “If he is a stone-pelter, wouldn’t police arrest him? Would he not face the law?” The separatists have termed Turray’s joining the militant ranks as a “classic example of pushing youth towards militancy”.
Independent legislator Engineer Rashid has met CM Mehbooba Mufti and demanded action against the police officers who forced Turray to take up arms.