Srinagar: Police have arrested eleven persons including two juveniles in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district allegedly for their participation in pro-freedom protests. The arrested persons have been booked for attempt to murder, their relatives alleged.
A local news agency quoting relatives of the arrested persons said that the juvenile duo was lodged with adults in Kupwara police station where they have been “ruthlessly beaten”.
“Is J&K Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act functional in Kashmir and police duty bound to observe its rules? May be on paper but the ground situation appears to be completely different,” the relatives said.
They said that the two juveniles from Muqam-e-Shahwali village of Kupwara were arrested by police on Friday afternoon following pro-freedom protests in the area.
Initially, the duo was lodged at Bazar Police Post in Kupwara and later shifted to Police Station Kupwara where they were allegedly beaten up by the cops, the delegation said.
The arrested boys have been identified as Danish Hussain Mir Peerzada (13) and Mohammad Aslam Mir (15).
Danish’s father Ghulam Mohammad Mir Peerzada said that he (Danish) was with his sister when police nabbed him. “My son and other boys who were held by police have been ruthlessly beaten up in police lockup,” Mir said, adding that he is apprehensive about the safety of his child.
The delegation said that the arrested duo should have been taken to rehabilitation home instead of lodging them in police lock-up. The delegation said that police provoked protests in the area after Friday prayers when the cops fired tear smoke shells near the local mosque.
“Following the unprovoked tear gas shelling, youth took to streets and staged protest against police. The clashes continued intermittently till 6 o’clock in the evening on Friday,” the delegation said, adding the youngsters were arrested during the clashes.
Meanwhile, senior citizens of the area have appealed to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy CM Nirmal Singh and DGP K Rajendra to look into the matter at the earliest and demanded release of the duo.
Superintendent of Police Kupwara Aijaz Ahmad Bhat said that the action has been taken to maintain law and order in the area. “Whatever action is required to maintain law and order, we take it,” he said. Asked about the allegation by parents that the juveniles were beaten up in police station in violation of the rules, he said, “Let us do our job and law will take its own course.”
The nine youths arrested in Kupwara have been identified as Ghulam Mohammad Mir of Muqam-i-Shahwali, Mohammad Salam Sheikh of Brambri, Mir Aubaid of Gund Gushi, Javid Chopan of Kunanposhpora, Waseem Malik of Gulshan Qasmi, Drugmulla, Showkat Payer of Sohipora, Reyaz Sheikh of Kunan Poshpora, Anees Khan of Mochipora, Handwara and Faizan Malik of Kupwara.
Police have registered a case under FIR number 149/2016 under sections 148, 149, 336, 427, 307 and 3PD Act against these youths including the juvenile duo.