Kashmir’s handcuffed children


The five children looked distraught. Handcuffed, burly policemen hushed them inside the court premises Tuesday afternoon. They looked pale and had visible torture marks. People, many of them lawyers, inside the premises just gazed in distress as the children moved.

Mohsin Majeed Shah was one among the detained minor boys. He had a torture mark on his forehead, right between the eyebrows. His tiny hands cuffed as a policeman pushed him between the groups of men who stood gazing in bewilderment.


Mohsin’s mother had waited all day inside the court premises to see her 13-year-old son- a seventh grader at a local school. She says he was arrested last Sunday.

It was an emotional tryst between a mother and her son. Both wept and cried. His brother, two years elder to him, also wept. “Look what they have done to Mohsin,” he kept saying.


His mother had brought him fruits and snacks. She cried. Her dirge was unstoppable when she held him in embrace. She kept kissing his forehead, on the torture mark.

His family says Mohsin was arrested last week when he left his home at New Colony, Paplpora Noor Bagh, located on the fringes of Old City, to meet his maternal uncle at Rajouri Kadal.

An hour later, his brother called their mother to inform Mohsin was picked up by police and detained at a local police station.

Another boy was Burhaan Nazir of  Nalahbundpora, Nowshera. A 6th grader, he was arrested last week from the streets of Srinagar’s Old City.

“We were severely beaten in the police station and all we heard from policemen were just abuses,” Burhaan remarked, while policemen almost dragged him back from the court and bundled him into a waiting armored vehicle.

“They abuse my sisters, tore our clothes. I am afraid they will beat us again in the police station,” he cried. “They even abuse my mother, who is dead.” When he shouted everyone around froze for a moment.

He was lodged for the past week at Mahraja Gunj police station and will now be shifted to a juvenile home on directions of the court.

The other boys seemed minors, too. One wore a torn cloak. He looked frightened, when he was brought inside and out of the court house.

There was no time to know their name as police rushed them out in hurry and dumped them into a waiting police van.

The lawyers, who had assembled in the court premises, expressed shock as the detained children were whisked away.

“It was shocking for all of us to see this. We have for the first time seen boys so young being detained,” advocate Nasir Qadri says.

“They said we have been tortured and clothes have been torn. They have been severely beaten and there were visible torture marks on their bodies,” he remarks.

The police is yet to mention the ages of the boys detained on charges of rioting and arson.

Inside the court room, when the Judge asked the prosecution what their age was. The prosecution replied that he had ‘no information’.

“This is a brute use of force by state and this is beyond any comprehension of any jurisprudence or human rights and I think police stations have turned into tyranny centres,” another lawyer, Babar Qadri says.

The state government has been under pressure from human rights groups over the detention of minors in the Kashmir valley.

Under attack from human rights groups, it has already made amendments to the Public Safety Act under which minors were booked during the civil unrest last year.

Owing to the pressure from both within and outside the state, the government set up a juvenile home in Kashmir recently.




+1 #26 Syed Zaiidi 2011-11-21 02:45
This is just pure high handedness as you cant see it ..
may i know how many police and army people have died and how many civilians have died .. how many females were being raped ???
do you have a number .... if not search and and see ... and if the same thing happen with ur family what you will say?
Think on the basis of humanity ..
India doesn't regard Kashmir as its state because ... see the brutalities .. and still if you can't change your perception. I will feel pity on you .....
-6 #25 karthik 2011-11-04 16:25
J&K police force is your own. Its filled with people from J&K, not from some other corner of India. You can join it too. So don't act like Indian government has hatched some secret plan to torture these kids. Police highhandedness happens everywhere in the world, not just in India. But the moment something goes wrong in Kashmir, you immediately raise your Azaadi slogan. Well, guess what, its simply not going to happen. Our soilders have lost lives too in this conflict and will continue fighting as long as its required.
-2 #24 ASHFAQUL ISLAAM 2011-11-03 18:49
0 #23 999 2011-11-03 13:58
it is really ridiculous,what better can we xpect from our puppet ridden govt running in hands of indian black dogs,it is not a new these bloody indians are doing it for a past 22 yrs killing and brutualising kashmiris,but how long will it take we will get freedom from kashmir,
-1 #22 ??? 2011-11-03 12:31
i just wanna say that i never ever heard that stone thrower get shot , always a innocent get killed or tortured...i know their is too much injustice happening in the valley but when you are fighting for independence ready to suffer and hit hard when get a chance..(stop crying like women and act like revolutionary)

Full hearted sympathy to those kids being human being and f*** the lousy and corrupt indian system but not INDIA.
+1 #21 rahat 2011-11-03 11:09
Indians have to leave Kashmir one day or other .. no more speculations... no more assumptions .. this is final
Go India Go back
+2 #20 Ab Ahad 2011-11-03 06:08
They are blind to the extent that they can't see these kids don't even look like teens. Indian shoddy democracy rap((d once again by her own custodians.
+3 #19 Rahul Koul 2011-11-03 05:07
Quoting Atul:
So why does this mother allow a 13 year old to take part in pak sponsored / Islamist sponsored activities? Dont take part in Islam terrorist and antinational activity and don't be arrested. It's that simple.

Atul, It is easy to gloat from far away very difficult to actually be in the shoes of these children. Of the 128 kids killed last year by Indian Army none of them was throwing stones. 7 year old kid Sameer Rah was killed in his home by Indian army, Tufail Mattoo was killed while coming from tutions, Zahid Farooq was killed while playing cricket, Fida was killed near the door of his home, Ishtiyaq Khanday and three others were killed in their courtyard.
COme of this colonial mentality and see the truth or else some day China will do a jinga lala to you.
+4 #18 tawheed ahmasd 2011-11-03 04:46
Mr. Atul i must ask you a simple question have you taken permission from your mother before writing this commit. come on be little flexible they are children
+3 #17 Dr.Tahir 2011-11-02 22:10
The only solution to these attrocities is to snatch freedom from brutal Indian "security" forces. A day will come when these sacrifices will show the color and we will breath in a free country.

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