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Decorated army major accused of “beating youth” in Kashmir

Special Forces in Kashmir. Image via Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-4.0.

An Indian army major has been accused of beating and torturing a young man in Indian-administered Kashmir after the youth was summoned for unknown reasons to unit 44 Rashtriya Rifles camp, a counterinsurgency force of the Indian army stationed in Shadimarg village in the Pulwama district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tawseef Ahmad Wani, who is undergoing treatment at Srinagar hospital, claims that he was badly beaten by Major Rohit Shukla. Major Shukla is a highly decorated officer who received the Shaurya Chakra, the third Indian highest peacetime military award from the president of India, for his role in anti-militancy operations in 2018.

Wani alleged that the major asked him to “pose with the gun or get ready to die in an encounter” — ostensibly demanding that Wani post photos of himself dressed like a militant on Facebook.

However, the army claims that “this is propaganda played by the terrorists, wherein they have beaten up the individual and are trying to put blame on the Army, so as to put pressure on security forces.”

Wani's brother is serving in the Indian army and has reportedly gone missing and other reports suggest that his father was killed by militants.

The issue took a political turn when former chief minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti visited the injured man at the hospital and demanded action be taken against the major.

Mehbooba Mufti: Talks of compassion…
Tawsif Ahmad Wani: For the sake of vote

The incident has since drawn sharp criticism from people on social media:

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