In an inhumane incident that has been widely condemned by the locals, an elderly man and his son were made to walk for kilometers together with a garland of shoes in their neck after their heads were tonsured and faces painted black for objecting to the construction of a road on the land belonging to a local graveyard.
The incident took place during a panchayat meeting held in Sialsui village of Kalakote tehsil in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.
On 23rd May, a local contractor, Ajay Singh @Billu was constructing a road on the land belonging to a local graveyard, drawing objections from Mohammad Bashir and his younger son Amjed Parvez.
Following this, a verbal duel ensued between the two sides.
“On 27 May, local Sarpanch Mohammad Khan alongwith some other panchayat leader came to our house and told us that a panchayat meeting is scheduled on 28 May for resolving the issue,” said Bashir.
He said during the meeting, seven persons including the local contractor, local sarpanch and two other panchayat members (panchs) overpowered them.
“My father and I were forcibly taken to a local barber shop and our heads were shaven and face was painted black,” said Amjed Parvez while narrating the entire incident before a local media house.
“Garlands of shoes were then put around our neck and we were made to walk for two kilometers with heads shaven, face painted black and garlands of shoes around our necks,” added Amjed.
He said they were threatened of dire consequences in case they lodged a police complaint. “We somehow managed to gather confidence and lodged a complaint on 31st May in Police Station Kalakote,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of police, Rajouri, Chandan Kohli said that police was unaware of the panchayat meeting till a complaint was lodged.
He said that on the basis of complaint received from Amjed Parvez son of Bashir Ahmed, seven persons have been booked.
Those booked include local contractor Ajay Singh @Billu son of Munshi Singh, Sarpanch Mohammad khan son of Nabi Baksh, Panch Abdul Rashid son of Mohammad Din, Panch Makhna son of Manni, Ranjit Singh son of Chattar Singh, Pushpinder Singh son of Jagdish Singh and Swarn Singh son of Karnail Singh, all residents of Sialsui area.
“Police teams have arrested all the seven accused in the case vide FIR 40/2020 under sections 279, 341, 342, 323, 504, 506, 147, 500 IPC,” said the SSP.
Meanwhile, the entire incident has developed strong reactions on social media with people demanding strict action against the accused.
“This is completely inhumane. Accused should be taken to task strictly,” said a local.