A youth from Kashmir has released a video claiming that oppression forced him to join militancy. The youth, identified as Zubair Ahmad Turray had escaped from police custody just two weeks ago. Wearing an olive green uniform, Zubair Ahmad Turray is being seen posing with guns and grenades.

He has claimed in the video, accessed by the Indian Express, that for four years, he was behind the bars on the charge of stone-pelting under the Public Safety Act. Admitting that he escaped from police custody, he is being heard saying that the “reasons for my escape were painful but oppression forced me to do it,” he added that he was left with no other option.

Talking about the past four years, Zubair Ahmad Turray said that despite several efforts from his father to get him out of jail, nothing could be done as cases were levelled on him – ‘one after the other’. He claimed that whenever he approached the high court or his father ensured that the PSA case against him was quashed, another case of PSA was levelled against him. He also alleged that after quashing of a case, the police used to illegally detain him for three months before slapping another case of PSA against him. “This process continued for four years,” he claimed.

A resident of Shopian, PSA was slapped on Zubair Ahmad Turray for a total of eight times, he said. He also claims that tired of this process, he could see no other option but to join the Mujahideen. “God’s help was with me and today I am among the Mujahideen,” he claims.

As per a report in the Indian Express, Jammu and Kashmir Director-General of Police SP Vaid defended police action against him saying that he will be arrested if he is a stone pelter. “If he is a stone-pelter, wouldn’t police arrest him? Would he not face the law?”

Meanwhile, blaming it administration, separatists claim that Zubair Ahmad Turray joining militancy is “classic example of pushing youth towards militancy.”