New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Aamir Amin, a 24-year-old Kashmiri man working in Gurgaon, hopes his parents in south Kashmir don’t ever come to know about his police detention and his being attacked by a group of locals for “merely carrying placards” with messages seeking “justice” and “peace” in the valley.
Hoping his elderly parents in Shopian and his three sisters do not get to know that he spent a day in detention at a Dwarka police station last week, Amin also wonders — “If they (people in India) call us their integral part, then why is there so much discrimination against us?”
The attack on him occurred on July 17, when Amin was at a bus stop in Dwarka’s Sector 9. He was holding placards that read “Stop innocent killings”, “I am from burning Kashmir”. This attracted stares from a few men. “Soon around 15-20 youths gathered around me and began calling me a terrorist. They questioned me, I answered their queries, but they refused to listen,” Amin told IANS.
“I wanted them to know about Kashmir. I asked them to think on humanitarian lines as I read that even children weren’t spared (during the unrest in the valley),” he said.
“After I realised that they won’t understand, I stopped explaining. One of them called the police, and said ‘we have found a terrorist who is a Burhan Wani supporter’,” Amin said.
The July 8 killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani in Anantnag triggered violent protests across Kashmir Valley with over 40 people killed in clashes with security forces.
“I did nothing that was against the government or the Constitution of India. I was beaten ruthlessly and all my credit and debit cards were broken. They even snatched my mobile phone,” said Amin, who works with a BPO in Gurgaon.
“I only tried to make the people understand what we (Kashmiris) are going through,” he added.
When he was under detention, Amin said he despaired of ever coming out of the “trap”.
Amin came to Delhi in January after registering with the central government’s Udaan scheme, a Special Industry Initiative (SII) implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and funded by the Union Home Ministry. He was given a training for a few months, after which he got the BPO job.
Amin says he last spoke with his mother on the Eid day (July 7). “I have no news about them. I do not know if they are fine. I just wish they are not worried about me.”
Due to the curfew in the Kashmir Valley, the internet blockade and ban on mobile services, Amin has not been able to contact his family in the restive valley.
He said he also fears for his safety in Delhi now after people at his office came to know of his detention at a police station. The police too visited his office to verify his antecedents.
“I am not a terrorist, I tell them. Not everyone understands, but there are people who sympathise with us. And definitely the threat will remain now,” he added.
(Ruwa Shah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)