It was August 4, 2016, when I became the victim of violence in police custody during the uprising of 2016 in the aftermath of Burhan Wani’s assassination at the hands of occupying Indian forces.
When I was arrested, policeman started beating me on the road and I was covered in blood by the torture at the hands of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troops. My head was repeatedly hit with a gun and I was beaten and dragged all the way to the police station.
At the police station, I was stripped of my clothing and was paraded naked onto the police station’s ground, all the while being beaten. Every official present tortured and abused me, a Sub- Inspector (SI) mocked me when he found a pen in my shirt, even the SHO (Station House Officer) and DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police) took joy in my plight and were agents in my torture.
It wasn’t enough for them however, the DSP wrote AZAADI (freedom) on my genitals. They called for chilli powder and petrol. The chilli powder was rubbed into my wounds. The petrol injected into my veins. The wanted me to reveal names of stone-pelters, I was unaware of any. My legs became paralyzed after the injection and I could not move for two hours.
My throat was parched with thirst but my requests for water fell on deaf ears. After what seemed like an eternity, I was thrown behind bars where there were already two boys present, aged between 12-15 years.
The of my days of my incarceration fell into a monotonous routine, we were expected to mow lawns, clean the path leading to SHO’s house and in return for all the labour, we were given food that we were expected to pay from our own pockets.
Our parents and relatives were not allowed to meet us easily, if at all. My father was intimated by police to leave his government job. One time parents of a stone pelter visited the police station and were beaten up ruthlessly by the officials present.
My legal rights were snatched, I had a sensitive scar on my head for which I requested the officers to permit me to visit a hospital, the SHO made me come back dozens of time after which, in the middle of a night, I was taken to a clinic for a checkup.
Specific reference to the right to a good condition adequate for the health and well-being of all is recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR) furthermore states that prisoners have a right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
But these rights are only in books in the occupied Kashmir, when I was arrested I was subjected to a medical examination after 12 days of detention. My memo arrest was presented in court after two months and I was not permitted to meet anyone during those 19 days.
The writer is a law student at the Kashmir University in Srinagar.