Kashmir turmoil worsens after cops shoot dead teen protester
2 cops booked for murder as kin claim boy was chased and shot; separatists under house arrest
SRINAGAR: Two policemen were booked for murder in Kashmir after they allegedly gunned down a teenager during clashes with protesters on Saturday, as tensions ran high in the Valley on the second day of demonstrations against the arrest of separatist leader Masarat Alam.
The family of the Class 9 student, identified as Suhail Ahmad Sofi, said a police team chased the boy into a lane and shot him at close range.
Director general of police K Rajindra said the two arrested policemen — an assistant superintendent and a constable — were from Jammu and Kashmir police.
The teenager was killed in the Narbal area of north Kashmir where protesters pelted security forces with stones during a shutdown called by hardline separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani against the arrest of Alam for allegedly hoisting a Pakistani flag at a Srinagar rally on Wednesday.
Expressing regret, police said the personnel had violated the standard operating procedure ( SOP) that mandates they use non- lethal weapons for crowd control. The SOP restrains security forces from using live ammunition against protesters.
“We have registered a murder case and are investigating the matter. We admit SOP was violated and want to assure people that we have zero tolerance for such incidents and those responsible would be punished,” the DGP said.
The state government has also ordered a magisterial probe into the killing. This is the second incident within a week of action by security forces raising questions. A youngster named Khalid Wani was killed in an encounter between the army and militants on Monday.
Massive protests erupted across the Kashmir Valley on Friday after Alam was arrested on sedition charges, and demon- strators burned the national flag and fought pitched battles with security forces. Around two dozen people were injured in the clashes.
Alam, arrested for l eading dozens of protesters who waved Pakistani flags during a rally organised by Geelani, was remanded in police custody for seven days by a court on Friday.
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