Jammu man allegedly tortured by wife’s family, rescued after video goes viral

Jammu, Aug 28: The police on Tuesday rescued a tribal youth from the alleged captivity of the relatives of a woman with whom he had eloped and married.

The youth was rescued from a desolate place in Kot Ponnu village of Kathua district after several video clips showing him being tortured by his alleged captors went viral on the social media, the police said on Tuesday.

Shoukat Ali, a native of Manyari village in Kathua district, had gone missing with the woman of his tribe on August 16, three days after they had married in a court and had approached the Jammu and Kashmir high court saying that they had married and needed protection.

Soon after the couple’s disappearance, several videos had surfaced on social media purportedly showing the youth being tortured by his wife’s relatives, the police said.

“The youth was rescued by a police team from a remote village in Kathua district,” Kathua’s senior superintendent of police Shridhar Patil told PTI.

He said Ali was rescued this morning while efforts were on to arrest the persons, who held him hostage and were seen torturing him in the video clips.

The alleged captors of the youth, however, are yet to be arrested, he said, adding the woman too is yet to be recovered.

“The accused have been identified and are on the run. We have information that they might have fled outside the state,” the officer said, adding efforts are on to nab them.

Two video clips of nearly half a minute each surfaced earlier soon after the disappearance of the couple and showed the man having been tied up with ropes in an open field and being tortured amid his fervent pleas for mercy.

One of the videos purportedly showed him being beaten up with his legs held up from a hanging log.

Yet another video of 1.35 minute duration surfaced today showing his abductors, with one of them holding an axe, questioning the captive youth and making him sing a song.

The SSP had said on Monday that the police had taken cognisance of the case and had set up special teams to trace the culprits soon after the captive youth’s video clips had surfaced earlier.

He had said on Monday that sometime back the woman’s family had lodged an FIR accusing the youth of kidnapping her and “we had recovered the girl and handed her to her parents”.

This was before the couple ran away again and solemnised their marriage in the court, he said.

After the couple went missing again, a fresh FIR was registered on a complaint by Ali’s father that his son had been kidnapped by the girl’s family members and was being held hostage by them, the officer said.

The FIR was registered on the J&K High Court direction after Ali’s father, through his advocate Shakeel Ahmad, filed an habeas corpus plea seeking the court’s intervention to save the couple’s life and rescue them from captivity.

On Ali’s father plea, a bench of justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur on August 24 asked Kathua SSP to recover both Ali and his wife and to record the woman’s statement under section 164A of the CrPC.

The court had taken a serious note of the fact that the couple had been kidnapped despite having approached it on August 14 and the woman having deposed before it that she had married Ali out of her own free will, said advocate Ahmad.

The court has directed the SSP to submit a report in the matter by August 31.

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