New Delhi, October 17 (KMS): Chennai-based fortnightly English language magazine, Frontline, says that Indian forces are using torture as a tool to stifle dissent in Kashmir.

Citing local people, the magazine said that some tales of torture that have been reported in the foreign media could be the tip of the iceberg.

The Frontline added people in the southern districts of Pulwama and Shopian and in Bandipora and Sopore in north Kashmir, where the magazine’s reporter travelled earlier this month, underscored the point that the forces had warned them of reprisals if they talked to the media about the cycles of night raids, torture and illegal detentions, including that of minors

“Recently, a Turkish state international news channel came out with a report of torture of a 26-year-old boy from Hirpora village in Shopian, 65 kilometres south of Srinagar. As per this report, the boy was blindfolded, pushed into a vehicle and taken to the Army’s 66 Rashtriya Rifles B Company camp at Chowgam. At the camp, the report said, he was stripped naked, waterboarded and forced to drink copious amounts of a horribly smelly liquid before the soldiers tied him to a pole and inflicted blows on him and administered electric current,” the magazine added.

“There is a strong murmur in Shopian’s villages that following the publication of this story, the forces visited the boy’s house and threatened him of consequences. Such intimidation is working.”

“This reporter learnt from a well-respected lawyer based in Shopian that similar atrocities were being perpetrated during night raids in Chilpura and Trenz villages as well. But the people there are tight-lipped for the fear of being targeted. Even assurances of withholding their identities did not assuage their sense of fear. It is a small place; a big vehicle stopping and a reporter entering someone’s house in the village will surely get noticed and reported, one of them contended,” Frontline said.

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