The desire on the part of Kashmir agitators to give publicity to their struggle for "independence" through social networking sites has, for once, backfired on them.
With the help of pictures from a video on YouTube, posted purportedly by protestors, Jammu and Kashmir police have identified and arrested an 18-year-old person for reportedly trying to snatch a gun from a constable. Shadab Hashmi (18), a class 12 student, had allegedly snatched the service weapon of the policeman after assaulting him in an old part of Srinagar during this year’s summer unrest.
The agitation was in protest against the killing of schoolboy Tufail Mattoo (17) in June by police.
In the video clip a boy is seen running after a policeman, who has a rifle. He floors the policeman and disarms him. But the policeman manages to snatch back his rifle and flees the place.
Confirming the arrest, inspector general SM Sahai said, "Hashmi was nabbed after identifying him on a video clip."
Official sources said policeman Mushtaq Ahmed was critically injured and had to be hospitalised.
Superintendent of police Showkat Shah said: "We had downloaded that clip from YouTube and identified the boy as Shadab Hashmi. We arrested him on Monday."
"During interrogation, Hashmi accepted being the person in question," he added.
Police in J&K have been keeping tabs on social networking sites diligently since September, when a video clip showing young men in Sopore being paraded naked by the security forces was posted.