Commanding Officer Joshi accused me of being a Pakistani national. At the BSF base camp I was brought to some other Kashmiris to speak with them so they could check my accent. They kept me in base camp until January 27. On the morning of January 27, my hands and legs were tied to the bed, and I was made to lie back on a steel bed. Uniformed BSG soldiers put a piece of cloth in my mouth. Three of them leaned on my chest and head. Then they pumped water into my nose. I was suffocating and choking. I started bleeding from my mouth. Then the soldiers turned me over and beat me on my back and feet with a long iron rod. They also hit me with a leather belt which they had dipped in water. My back was bleeding. There was blood splattered on the wall in the room. Then they made me lie down face up on bed again and tied my hands and feet to bed. They applied electric shock to my feet, genitals, chest, and tongue for twenty minutes in all. Two wires - one on either side of my body - were attached to a generator with a crank which one of the soldiers turned. If he turned the crank fast, the shock was severe; if he turned it slowly, less so.
The following day
He told me that if I spoke on the telephone with my uncle in
That night, the officer came to me and said they would take me to the Soura Institute Instead, BSF soldiers took me from Army hospital to the police control room in
Ilyas a government employee from
At 10:00am I went outside with my sister and asked a BSF officer to allow me and my sister to leave so that she could take an exam. She was allowed to go, but I was not. When I returned home, I discovered that the BSF had already searched the house and left. At 11:30 am several dozen BSF soldiers surrounded the house. Six soldiers entered the house and asked for me by name and said they had to conduct a search of the house again because they had specific information that I had connections with some militants. After they searched the house, they ordered me to come with them. They accused me of knowing the hideout locations of militants. I said I did not. Then they said that militants had been coming to my house. I replied that they did come to my house and to other houses - they enter any home at will and there is nothing we can do to stop them. But since January 1995, no militant had entered my house.
The BSF took Ilyas and one of his neighbours to a nearby BSF camp. Outside one of the buildings, he saw five civilians sitting on the lawn with their pherans pulled around their heads. Some of them were moaning as if in pain. Ilyas was taken to a room where six BSF soldiers were waiting. In the room were a chair, some clothes, and a telephone that is used to send electromagnetic signals.
I was told to remain standing. They asked me my name and when I told them, several of them cursed me. One asked me,” Tell me where the militants are" I said I don't know. Another said, "They come to your house" I said yes but not since January 1995. Then one of the officers said, “You will not divulge information, so take off your clothes.” I hesitated. Then one of the officers struck me on the head several times while another kicked me in the back and said, “Take off your clothes.” I took off my clothes. They told me to sit, and I sat on the chair. Then one of them kicked me in the back and said, “You are not an officer here this chair is for an officer.” Then I sat on the floor with only my undershirt on and they told me to sit in front of the chair and put my hands behind me on the chair. Then one of them sat on my shoulders so that I could not move my head or arms. Another one grabbed my legs and forced them apart at nearly 180 degrees - as far as they would go. I began crying.
The soldiers continued to ask Ilyas for the names of militants, and he replied that he did not know any. While the two soldiers were still holding his legs apart and the third was still sitting on his shoulders, two others stood on his thighs, causing him great pain in the groin. After two minutes of this, one of the soldiers, an officer, asked, “Why do you want to die? Why don't you tell us the names?” Ilyas again denied that he knew any. Two other BSF soldiers came into the room, and they were told to “get the telephone” Ilyas described what happened next:
One soldier then picked up the box and brought it over, and the other pulled two wires out of the box. While the first soldier rotated the crank on the box, the second touched my genitals and thighs with the wires. I cried out. This continued for two or three minutes. Then the officer asked me, "Will you now reveal the names?" I said I don't know anyone He asked what connections I had with militancy, and I said none except I am a social worker and a Kashmiri. Militants come into our homes as you do; how can we stop them? Then the officer signalled with his hand to the two soldiers holding the telephone apparatus. They again applied the wires to my thighs and genitals for three or four minutes. I was crying at each shock. After that the officer told them to stop. Throughout this the other five officers continued to sit on me and hold my legs apart. The one sitting on my shoulders was pulling my hair. The officer asked if I was married. I said no, and he said, "We will render you impotent if you do not cooperate"
The soldiers gave Ilyas electric shocks two more times. The fourth time one of the soldiers placed a green chilli on one of the wires, which increased the pain. Ilyas fell unconscious, and when he came to sense, a soldier told him to stand up and helped him walk around the room. When he came outside he saw the soldiers who had interrogated him questioning the neighbour who had been arrested with him. Ilyas was told to sit with the others on the lawn, and the neighbour joined them a short time later. At about 3:00 pm, they were taken to BSF headquarters in
Ilyas told Human Rights Watch:
"Two detainees were stripped and forced to climb a wooden pole about twelve feet high. Then a BSF soldier would apply shocks to the man with wires. When the man would slip down, crying, they would beat him with lathis [canes]. I also saw at least two persons in Papa II on November 4 who was not able to walk. I talked to one of them. He identified himself as Badshah Khan, district commander of the JKLF in Kupwara, a border district in northwest
In the evening Ilyas was taken back to the BSF camp. On November 6 he was again taken to Papa II where the soldiers told him he should work for the BSF as an informer. Ilyas refused. That evening, when he was brought back to the base camp, the
(Shiraz and Ilyas are changed names)
(Shiraz and Ilyas are changed names)