11 year-old dies as live shell explodes in Rafiabad

11 year-old dies as live shell explodes in Rafiabad
  • The child, a Hafiz-e-Quran, found the shell amidst debris of houses demolished during recent encounter; people stage protests, say government forces didn’t search the debris carefully

Baramulla: An 11-year-old boy, Junaid Ahmad Dar, died when a live shell exploded in his home in Ladoora village of Rafiabad on Friday.
Sources said Junaid, son of Tanveer Ahmad Dar, found the shell in the debris of houses which were demolished by government forces during the recent encounter in which a local militant, Riyaz Ashraf Mir, and an army trooper were killed. Locals said the minor took the shell to his home, where it exploded, injuring him and partially damaging the upper story of the house.
Locals, including Junaid’s family, rushed the injured child to district hospital Baramulla, where doctors declared him dead on arrival. Medical Superintendent of the hospital, Dr Qayoom, confirmed the death of the child, saying he had suffered multiple serious injuries. Locals said Junaid, a student at the local Darul Uloom in Ladoora, had memorised the Holy Quran.
Soon after the incident, hundreds of people, including women and children, took to the streets and staged a protest demonstration against government forces who, according to them, had not searched the debris of the demolished houses carefully. Tehsil president of the Hurriyat Conference (G) Akeel-ur-Rehman also joined the protestors and alleged that even as the government forces damaged dozens of houses and used heavy weapons they didn’t search the debris carefully afterwards.
The protestors blocked the Baramulla-Kupwara road for some hours and demanded strict action against the government personnel who were engaged in the encounter.
Meanwhile, the people of Brath-Kalan and its adjourning villages again staged protests after Friday prayers against the killing of Riyaz Ashraf Mir, who belonged to Brath-Kalan, and was killed in the Ladoora encounter. The protesters blocked the Sopore-Kupwara road near Shangar-Gund for some time and shouted slogans against the army and police. They also again denied the police claim that Riyaz was involved in civilian killings in the past in the Sopore area.