A video emerged on social media that shows youths assaulting a jawan of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Srinagar. The CRPF jawan, in the video, is seen being heckled, kicked and beaten up by a group of youths.
The video shows a group of personnel seemingly returning from a polling station after the Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll held on Sunday. The CRPF man was hit badly on the head and also received a kick to his shin. He was assaulted by a mob that walked with him and kept beating him while raising slogans. He is seen as being armed with a rifle but didn’t use it or retaliate with any force. NDTV cited reports quoting the personnel who said he and his comrades were carrying electronic voting machines from the polling booth and they wanted to keep the EVMs safe.
“At times there are allegations that CRPF uses pellet guns. This video was made by the public and uploaded by the public, it clearly shows they are being harassed, not retaliating. The kind of restraint they are observing, it is really commendable because they gave importance to the security of the EVM. They want to uphold democracy,” NDTV quoted CRPF spokesperson Bhavesh Kumar Chowdhary as saying.
Massive violence was witnessed in Srinagar on Sunday as bypolls were held amid a boycott called by separatist groups and militants groups as well. The voter turnout was the lowest in 30 years, since the armed insurgency of 199os in Kashmir. In the violence on Sunday, at least eight people were reported dead and over 100 were injured in the clashes between mobs and security forces. Visuals reportedly emerged that showed EVMs being damaged.
The Anantnag bypoll which was scheduled for April 12, Wednesday, has been deferred to May 25 now after a request from the ruling People’s Democratic Party.
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