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

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

CON­TIN­UED ON P8

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