While Muslim pilgrims from Bharat are feted and subsidised on the way to their Haj pilgrimage in a far off country, Hindu pilgrims going to their own country’s Amarnath Yatra suffer some form of trauma every year. Two years back, the yatra came under attack from Islamic terrorists, and 7 yatris (5 women) were murdered. This year, the yatra has just commenced, but some news of the harrassment the yatris face has already emerged.
A constable Tariq Ahmed of the 19th battalion of the Indian Reserve Police, who was supposed to be “guarding” the yatris, instead was up to something altogether different. The yatris have to make do with all sorts of makeshift camps because the large-hearted Muslims of Kashmir, famed for their (mythical) Kashmiriat, refused to allow transfer of a mere 0.40 sq. km of land to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board for better pilgrim facilities (remember that, seculars?). This particular incident happened in one such makeshift camp – this time at a railway station.
Tariq Ahmed was secretly filming the Hindu women yatris taking their baths in the bathroom of the camp using his mobile phone. It is not clear exactly how he was caught, except that the women themselves raised an alarm. Was he brazenly doing it? Not clear. Anyhow, the women raised alarm and other men present in the camp overpowered Tariq Ahmed and handed him to the ….well, police (the same force Tariq is part of). Those policemen recovered his cellphone and the videos on it.
Now one thing must be asked: how are policemen vetted for this duty? Would it surprise anyone if this Tariq Ahmed also allowed some sensitive information about the yatra routes and security to pass to Islamic terrorists? Has such a thing happened in the past that we do not know about? And are “reserve police” the best our country has for Amarnath yatris? I suppose all the elite security forces are already deployed to guard the Hurriyat!
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