Kupwara incident: Nasrullah was examined by army doctor to see if he was ‘fit to be thrashed’
A stained left eye, bruised limbs, and a mark caused around his neck by an attempted hanging quietly narrate the story of torture that 28-year-old Nasrullah Khan received from the army.
A resident of Kupwara’s Devar area, Nasrullah, along with his neighbour Manzoor Khan, was detained by the army on Thursday noon.
Nasrullah was let go half-dead at around 9 in the evening, while there is no clue yet about Manzoor.
Under treatment at Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital, no part of Nasrullah’s body is unhurt.
Dreadful memories of the incident make him wish for death and admit even what he isn’t actually guilty of.
He narrates that, at Thursday noon, he had to cross through the local 27 RR camp to reach Tremokh to tend to the livestock.
He, however, was not let to go after he marked his routine entry in the army ledger.
Nasrullah and Manzoor were told that the “Major” needed to speak with them.
“I was taken to a room. Suddenly a doctor came in. He checked me with a machine (a stethoscope) and told me that my heart was beating fast and whether I was afraid of something. I replied that I was okay,” he says, his lower body shivering with pain.
When the doctor vetted him as “fit for a thrashing”, the “Major”, as per Nasrullah, came in along with other personnel and accused him of sheltering militants.
“He told me that I had sheltered and provided food to the militants at my Dhoka (hut) on August 27. I replied that I was not even present. To it, he started beating me up with a cricket bat while others kicked and punched me at the same time,” he says adding that the army actually beat him as if they were hitting a cricket ball.
“They even thrust a wicket in my mouth and an iron rod in my bottom.”
After about 15 minutes of continuous thrashing, as per Nasrullah, the doctor again came in and started checking him with the stethoscope.
He, Nasrullah adds, then again nodded to the army personnel that he was okay to be thrashed again.
“I was praying that I become unconscious so that they would give me a few minutes of relief, but as soon as I used to pass out, they poured water on me and started thrashing me again,” he says.
To save his life, Nasrullah says, he finally accepted whatever army accused him of: that he had sheltered the militants.
“They asked me how much was I given. I said Rs 100. That infuriated the Major, who again thrashed me. I then said Rs 1000, then 10,000. But they kept on beating me.
“I asked them whatever they wanted me to say, I will say the same. One of the troopers said that I must have taken Rs 1 lakh. I agreed to it. They asked me where the money was. I was so beaten up that I told them it was in my pocket triggering another round of thrashing.”
Nasrullah faced this ordeal until 9 pm when he was finally removed to a nearby hospital and taken away by his family on a makeshift stretcher.
He was first taken to a nearby local health centre from where he was sent to the police hospital in Srinagar.
“There the doctor said that his situation was bad and asked them to shift him to the SMHS Hospital. We have done a few scans, hope his injuries are only external,” said Shiraz Ahmad, who was tending to Nasrullah at the hospital.