Social media fires up over civilian’s killing, 3-year-old’s rescue in KashmirUpdated: Jul 02, 2020 00:16 IST
Social media in Kashmir got all fired up with competing narratives over the killing of a 65-year-old civilian during a militant attack on security forces, which the family blamed on CRPF, and the subsequent sharing of pictures of the man’s three-year-old grandson’s rescue by the police.
After a militant attack on a road opening party of CRPF at Sopore, during which a CRPF jawan and a civilian were killed, police shared the photo of a toddler in the lap of a policeman with the title ‘JKP rescued a three-year-old boy from getting hit by bullets during terrorist attack in Sopore’. Videos of the sobbing toddler being ferried in a police vehicle also appeared while he was being consoled. Some people termed the same as police propaganda while others hailed them for the rescue.
Another series of three heartbreaking pictures of the toddler also surfaced online. Two of them show the little boy crying over his dead grandfather’s body and in the third photo the child is seen walking towards a security personnel.
Soon, these pictures and videos started trending online and many people expressed their outrage over the way Kashmiris were suffering.
“A child sitting on top of a blood-soaked dead body of his parent, needs to be born again, somewhere far away from gun smoke, just to forget the war,” wrote a doctor, Mohsin Bin Mushtaq Shah.
Some people questioned the logic of making a video of the child when he had just witnessed a horrific incident. Also, who clicked these pictures when the journalists were yet to reach the scene became a matter of debate.
“How insensitive is it to shoot the video of a three-year-old child, just after he witnessed something he might not have been even able to comprehend. How low does one have to stoop for some PR? Highly deplorable,” a netizen, Sadia Kawoosa, wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, videos of the slain civilian’s family members, who claimed that the CRPF got him out of his car and killed him, also appeared on social media. The family said the man had left home along with his grandson from Srinagar early morning to reach a work site in north Kashmir. However, the Sopore police issued a statement that calling the claims baseless. “Sopore Police refutes and denies these claims and legal action shall be taken against those spreading false reports and rumours,” it stated.
Amid these competing claims, many people were befuddled.
“Two kinds of videos are being circulated: 1) Exhibiting and showcasing the rescue of three-year-old toddler whose grandfather was shot dead and 2) His son accusing CRPF of killing the father in broad daylight. Truth has become the casualty in Kashmir,” said Iltija Mufti on the Twitter handle of her mother and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Former chief minister of J&K and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah also expressed anger over police’s “broadcast” of the young boy’s misery.
“We would have expected no less from the men in uniform than to rescue the young boy and for that they have our gratitude, but we would expect better than for them to film and use a three-year-old’s pain the way it’s being done today,” he said.