By Nusrat Sidiq
SRINAGAR: A city court granted bail to five minors on Monday, who were arrested by police on 10th of this month and lodged at Police Station Safa Kadal on charges of stone hurling.
While the bail came as a relief to the boys and their families, their parents say the scars of the “ordeal” are hard to heal. The parents allege that their wards were framed, and subjected to physical torture in the lockups.
Ghulam Mohammad Sofi father of Irfan Ahmad Sofi, one of the juveniles, said that his son, a student of class 10th worked as a salesman at a shop at Nawa Kadal in his spare time.
“At around 5:15 pm on 10th February, he went to see if the shop was open. After he left, his mother called him after 20 minutes. On receiving the call, he informed us that he is in police station Safakadal,” said Sofi.
“When I went to the police station to see my son, his left hand and arm was swollen. He had been beaten up. I told them that he is not a stone pelter but they declined my plea and threatened to put me behind bars too.”
The family of another boy, 14-year old Intikhab Jeelani, a student of Vision Public School Kanitar Saderbal, allege that Intikhab, who had gone to his aunt’s home at Sekidafar, was arrested when he came out to buy some chocolates.
“He is so innocent. He was not a stone pelter. He had to buy some chocolates at nearby shop. When I talked to him at police station, he told me that a police vehicle came in and everybody started running. ‘I couldn’t run and they arrested me’” Ghulam Jeelani Bhat, Intikhab’s father said.
“He was tortured. His ears, arms and legs were swollen and blood was oozing from the cuts. It was hard to see my son in that situation. They were treated like hardcore criminals,” Bhat said.
Tahmeen Bhat, a student of 4th grade was also arrested on the same day. According to his family, he is not mentally sound, and his father alleged that he was also beaten up when he visited Tahmeen in the lockup.
“When I came to know that he has been arrested, I went to the police station with some food and blankets but they beat me up and told me ‘you all are stone pelters’,” Tahmeen’s father Abdul Rashid Bhat said.
Two other boys Junaid Shakeel Bangroo and Danish Ahmed Wani were also allegedly beaten up badly before their arrest at Gassi Mohalla Safakadal. According to their families, Junaid was coming out of a darsgah and Danish was on way home.
An official from PS Safkadal said that the boys were arrested on spot for stone pelting and denied that anyone was beaten up.