Hours after a series of amateur short videos went viral on social media showing CRPF jawans being heckled, hit and kicked by a mob in Nashrullahpora, Budgam, the CRPF has lodged a complaint with Jammu and Kashmir Police.
"We are in process of lodging an FIR against the hecklers," said Ravideep Shahi IG CRPF.
Multiple videos showed locals assaulting Jawans who were returning from a polling station in Budgam district of Srinagar, which went to the bypoll amid widespread protests and violence on Sunday.
Videos show remarkable restraint shown by CRPF personnel, despite highest provocation.
"The CRPF men showed remarkable restraint. It shows our men do not respond despite provocation. Only if there is threat to life or property," said Shahi.
In one video, a youth in the crowd whacks one of the jawans in the head, whereas another can be heard saying "haya layus ma (hey, don't beat him)". Another attacker then flips off the Jawan's helmet.
As some of the stone pelters chant 'Go India, Go Back' while walking with the jawans, others capture the assault on their mobile phone cameras. The jawans stay calm and do not react.
- Kolahoi (@PawanDurani) April 12, 2017
Officials tell India Today that they back the response of its men. "They did not get provoked," one says.
One of the jawans who is attacked, can be seen walking calmly with an INSAS rifle in his hand. He is reported to have told his seniors that his and his colleagues' prime concern at the time was to keep the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) they were carrying with them, after a polling station was attacked in Budgam.
The same group of eight men had to later take positions and fire 30 mortar shells to disperse the crowd, however. Senior officers said this was a Catch-22 situation for the force for having to respond to your own country men.
CRPF DIG Sanjay Kumar now plans to identify the Jawans and "recommend them for an award for showing restraint."