Batamaloo turned into fortress

Srinagar: In the densely populated locality of Batamaloo, a curfew has been imposed.  Police and paramilitary troops swarm the area, instead of locals. Shops are shut and no one is allowed passage. The situation is visibly tense. A few residents, revealing their faces partially, peep through windowpanes or from alleyways. The blood stains on the decrepit main road are still visible, the red colour dulled by dust. A teenage boy’s blood was spilled here Saturday evening by troops of the Border Security Force (BSF).
The whole of Batamaloo has been turned into a virtual fortress to prevent protests against the killing of 15-year-old Sajad Hasan.
According to eye-witnesses, three armoured trucks of BSF entered the locality in the evening on Saturday and were attacked by stones by the local youth. A commotion followed and the BSF troops opened fire. Sajad, a student of Class 8 at a local private school, was hit by a bullet. He died on the spot.
“Sajad was standing along with another friend when the incident happened,” a local told Kashmir Reader. “His family lived here on rent close to the spot where he was killed.”
A classmate of Sajad remembers him as a hardworking student who was not only good in studies but was also a talented cricketer. “We were supposed to play a match on Sunday in a local playground. We always looked up to his performance,” he said.
Sajad’s father Ghulam Hasan runs a barbeque stall in the local Batamaloo market. “Every evening, Sajad would help his father at the stall,” the friend said.
According to Sajad’s neighbours, the family was living in the locality for many years and Sajad had grown up here. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew him. “The family is poor and had shifted to Srinagar for livelihood,” a neighbour said.
When people heard that Sajad had been killed, they decided to bury him in the local martyrs’ graveyard instead of in his ancestral graveyard in Baramulla. Amid mourning and slogans, Sajad was laid to rest beside the graves of local martyrs at 11pm in the night. Demonstrations continued till 3am, according to locals.