Source: The Indian Express
It was the day after the April 9 parliamentary by-election in Srinagar. Only seven per cent voters had turned out and eight people were killed in related violence. A viral video of CRPF jawans being booed and hustled out of a village was ruling the air waves.
As I watched the video on a friend’s phone in Srinagar, he said: “Look, they could have snatched their rifles, shot them, lynched them, but we don’t do that kind of thing here in Kashmir. Lynching aapke yahan hota hai. Aisa Kashmir mey nahin hota”. His reference point was the lynching of Pehlu Khan in Alwar just days earlier, on April 1.
Last Thursday night, though, that premise changed forever as worshippers at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar’s Nowhatta surrounded a police officer in plainclothes on the mosque’s precincts, beat him, tore off his clothes, rained stones on him and eventually gored him to death.
One day later, back here in Ballabhgarh, a 15-year-old Muslim boy was stabbed to death by a group of men on a train. They had taunted him about him being Muslim. His brother, who was also stabbed, survived the attack. The two were returning home after an afternoon spent shopping for the Eid festival in Delhi.