During 1990, I was in 6th standard. I was a part of Islami Jamiat Talba (A student organisation). As soon as government gunmen came to know about me they forbid me from entering into Majid accusing me of reading Pakistani Azan and of being a Pakistani. Soon they took me in custody and tortured me in Palhallan camp headed by Aziz Garhwal.
They used to soak my head under water filled with chilies and stood on my back. I used to scream and beg them, “don’t beat me, there is a paper and pen in my pocket I will write a suicide note, kill me instead”. The gunmen were Sher Khan of Singhpora, Janeju (code name), Shahnawaz Ali, Mohammad Akbar and Ghulam Ahmad Waza. It was around 1995/1996 at night when the gunmen broke my door and kicked my family outside. They were asking about me. When I came forward, they caught hold of my collar and dragged me to Palhallan army camp where an officer ordered the other officials to torture me. They hung me upside down. I cried and begged but they tortured me continuously.
When I was in B.Sc first year I was again taken to the camp. This time Ghulam Nabi Khan, who was 60 years old, Fayaz Ahmad and Ghulam Nabi Tantray were accompanying me. They gave me electric shocks, made us naked and used water canon on us. This process continued for at least till 45 minutes. They also used tiny roughly sharp sticks and inserted it inside our nose. Later they took me to another room. There they tried to manipulate by on one side stating that my colleagues told them that I had a weapon and meanwhile they told the others that I had informed on them. One gunman named Ghulam Ahmad Waza told the officers that I was too strong and this meant the torture increased.
They threatened me to handover the weapon or else they will throw acid on my face. In reality it was kerosene. But, as I was blindfolded I got scared when they threw it on my face and I thought it was acid at first but then later realized it was kerosene. I was released after five days. Since then whenever I walked on the streets in the presence of any officials, I was abused and beaten. As time passed and camps shut down, people got more courage and did protests against civilian killings. Then fake FIRs were registered. I have four to five such cases ongoing against me.
Nearly 14 years ago an army officer died on the border. He belonged to Palhallan camp. The army officials had sent few civilians who work for them. They had been ordered to send a slip to every house and mention some amount of money to be paid by the family. This was to be given to the army officer’s family. Even we received this letter. To save my life, as there would be consequences for non-payment, my father managed to work and paid Rs. 30,000.
In 1998, I was summoned to the Wusan camp. I was tortured there and in Hyderbaig. Due to the torture my intestines and other parts were damaged. I still cannot do any physical work. I ran away to Jammu and only returned in 1999 when my father was dying. There used to be an officer called Liyaqat who had been transferred from Nishat, Srinagar. He once met me in the camp and told me he had buried 13 persons alive in the place he was posted before. Once in Palhallan camp there was youth kept in a cell next to mine. I assumed that his parents might not be aware of this. One day with the excuse of using the bathroom, I tried to sneak in the cell. I saw the young boy and his cell walls were covered with blood. I requested an officer named Kartik to allow me to talk to him for few minutes. After having conversation with the boy, my doubts were confirmed. I came to know that the boy was from Wusan namely Abdul Ahad Dar, son of Ghulam Ahmad Dar.
The army officials had randomly picked up the boy. The following night I heard a gunshot. The next morning when I asked about the gunshot to other officers they giggled and said, “there was a dog in the kitchen, so we killed him”. They burst out laughing.
When I was released I went to the boys family and informed them about their son. Soon the family rushed to the camp but the officials responded that he ran away.
In 2000, during the cross firing between Sikh regiment and militants on Palhallan Bridge a militant died along with few army officials. At night the army personnel walked into a few houses and raped women including an eighty-year-old lady. They were rushed to the hospital. Two of them are still alive.