BSF to invoke AFSPA to escape trial in Batamaloo killing

The police has failed to make any headway in the murder case involving BSF personnel even as the force has formally lodged a complaint of weapon snatching against the Baramulla youth who died in firing on Saturday here at Batamaloo.

Although the police have registered a murder case, however no progress has been made in the matter. Officials said that BSF has lodged a complaint with the police that its sub inspector rank officer as well as some other personnel had come under heavy attack of youth pelting stones in Batamaloo, including the deceased boy, who were trying to snatch away their weapon.

Earlier BSF personnel had shot dead a youth in Batamaloo area on Saturday evening triggering widespread protests across Kashmir. The deceased who was identified as Sajjad Hussain Sheikh, 22, son of Ghulam Hassan, a resident of Dodbug Chundoosa area of Baramulla district, was running a barbecue kiosk at Reke Chowk, Batamaloo, and was killed in the firing.

In a statement that was issued by the police earlier, it noted that they are looking into the circumstances leading to the killing of the youth. Police had however noted that the district Police administration Srinagar had informed that there was no deployment in the area. However, it turned out later that the BSF personnel had lost their way, when they fired at the youth leading to his killing.

“We have filed a complaint against the boy that he was among the mob which was trying to snatch away the weapon,” said a senior BSF official. He added that they have also informed the police that in case of any action to be taken against its own personnel they could launch their own inquiry.

“Like army we will seek the immunity under the armed forces special powers act (AFSPA) and  no trial can be initiated against our personnel in the case,’’ added the official.

A senior police official admitted that the investigation in the case got hampered due to the shutdown in the Batmaloo area for the last few days. He said that the statements of the witnesses couldn’t be recorded in the case.

Station House Officer (SHO), Batmaloo, Pervaiz Ahamd, said that the matter is under investigation. He said that though a complaint has been received from BSF, but they can’t register a case over it as the police have already registered a murder case against the BSF personnel. “The matter is under investigation, ‘he said, adding that the statements of the family members will also be recorded in the case.

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