A Bharatiya Janata Party activist, Lashkar-e-Taiba, was allegedly beaten up by the supporters of Awami Itijad Party president Sheikh Abdul Rashid (Engineer Rashid) during a protest in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.
Khan also alleged that he was scared after Engineer Rashid, threatened of handing him over to militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba.However, Rashid denied the allegations.
The incident happened outside Pulwama deputy commissioner’s office where Rashid was holding a protest along with some of his supporters against the killing of a youth in security forces firing, a day earlier.
Khan said that the supporters of Rashid were provoked after he objected to one of their banners with the picture of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. “They were trying to portray PM as a criminal which I could not bear and objected to it,” he said.
“I told them that you have a right to protest but don’t address PM as a criminal which they could not bear and started thrashing me. I was wounded in my head,” he said.
Rashid, however, said that he told Khan that it was the Prime Minister who has to answer for everything happening in the country. “He was very abusive and not ready to listen. Besides, my supporters did not beat him. There were hundreds of other people who had joined our protest,” he said.
Rashid alleged that despite repeated requests to the police to stop Khan’s abusive behaviour, they did not act.
“I repeatedly told the local SHO to stop him from using very vulgar language. When he did nothing, it was only then I said, in an ironical sense, that ‘shall I ask Lashkar?’ I never meant it,” he said.
Station House Officer Pulwama, Ghulam Jeelani denied that he was present when the scuffle broke out. “I was busy in the security related issues around the place,” he said.
The BJP activist, however, said that he has not filed an FIR yet. “I have talked to my higher ups and am waiting for their response,” Khan said.