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Heads tonsured, faces blackened, paraded semi-naked: Father-son duo punished for objecting to graveyard encroachment in Rajouri

The father-son duo whose heads were shaved, faces blackened, and who were paraded semi-naked after they objected to alleged road construction on graveyard at Kalakote in Rajouri district (Photo: KM/Special Arrangement)

Police registers case, arrests likely 

Srinagar: Shock, anger and outrage have descended on Jammu and Kashmir after a 65-year-old man and his 24-year-old son were tonsured, beaten and  paraded semi-naked for allegedly objecting to road construction on graveyard at Kalakote in Rajouri district.

Police have registered a case under different sections of Indian Penal Code. A brother of a former legislator of a regional political party has emerged as the prime accused in the incident.

The incident occurred on Eid-ul-Fitr when a lone Muslim family in Syalsuri village objected to the encroachment of the graveyard.  An argument ensued and the alleged encroachers called up a former local legislator for help.

In true Bollywood style, they were summoned to the darbar next day where a brother of the former legislator was present along with his supporters. 

They caught hold of Amjid Parvez and his 65-year-old father Mohammad Bashir and tonsured their head. Their faces were blackened and they were garlanded with footwear. Later they were paraded semi-naked through the bazaars with no one coming to their rescue.

“My elder brother was on way to his in-laws’ place when he saw our ancestral graveyard being dug and road being laid through it. When he objected, he was abused and thrashed by the man who was laying the road. Later he called former legislator who abused us,” said Amjid.

A few days later, a local Panch and Sarpanch arrived at their home and summoned them to the local Peer Baba shrine to meet a former legislator. 

“Since we had not committed any crime, we decided to go. They had changed the venue. The former legislator was missing but his younger brother was present with his supporters. We thought we should not stretch it beyond, though we were not at fault. We apologized but they were not forgiving,” he said.

Just like Bollywood villain style, the supporters caught hold of Amjid and his 65-year-old father Mohammad Bashir and allegedly tonsured their heads. “My brother Mohammad Riyaz fled on his bike. My father and I were caught. They snatched our phones, shaved our heads, painted us black, and garlanded us with footwear. Then they paraded us through the market semi-naked. They threatened us with dire consequences if we inform the police,” he said.

A few days later, the two mustered courage and informed the police.  Station House Officer (SHO), Kalakote police station, Sanjay Raina told The Kashmir Monitor that they have registered a case under different sections of the Indian Penal Code. “We will be recording the statement of the complainant and by tomorrow arrests will be made,” he said.

Sarpanch of the area Mohammad Khan said he was traveling and not able to talk. “I will call you later,” he said.

Panch of the village Abdul Rasheed said his brother in law had passed away and he was busy with it. “I will call you later,” he said.