Srinagar: Batamaloo Station House Officer Pervaiz Ahmad has told Kashmir Reader that the witness statements recorded in the case of 11-year-old Sajad Ahmad’s killing by Border Security Force troops at Batamaloo on April 15, are not of “much use”. He said the police had recorded statements of three witnesses so far.
“They (witnesses) couldn’t justify what actually happened at the spot. Now we are accelerating efforts and trying to complete the investigation. The Border Security Force, which is conducting its own inquiry into the incident, is fully cooperating with us. Probably in the next 15 days we will complete our investigation,” Ahmad said.
Ahmad said that because the boy’s family was in distress due to the tragic incident, the police couldn’t carry out much investigation. “The family is yet to come out of that tragic incident and they are still mourning their son’s killing. That is the reason why we couldn’t collect any further details from the family, including the boy’s father, as well as from witnesses who were present at the spot at the time of the incident,” Ahmad said.
The father of Sajad Ahmad, Ghulam Hassan Sheikh, told Kashmir Reader that the family cannot afford a lawyer to pursue the case in court. The family has pinned its slim hopes of justice on the police investigation.
“Almost 40 days have gone since my innocent son was killed by the BSF. We have no regrets as it was written in his fate; what pains us is that those who killed him are roaming free,” Ghulam Hassan said.
He said that a number of people in Batamaloo have come to him and said they are willing to record their statements before the police, provided the police call them. “A number of locals here (in Batamaloo) affirm the innocence of my child and many among them say they are ready to record their statements at the police station, but the police are not asking them to,” he said.
A native of Chandoosa village in Baramulla district, the Sheikh family has been living in Batamaloo for several years. Residents of Batamaloo say that Sajad was shot at without any reason.
“A few youths had hurled stones at the BSF vehicle, but instead of steering the vehicle away or taking on the group of about a dozen youth, they opened fire at a small boy,” a resident of Batamaloo who witnessed the incident told Kashmir Reader.
On the day Sajad was killed, an FIR (No. 53/2017) under Section 302 of the RPC (crime of murder) was registered by the police against BSF troopers at Batamaloo police station. Police also issued a formal statement which read: “Police is collecting the details and is looking into the circumstances under which a person identified as Sajad Hussain Sheikh of Chandoosa Baramulla at present (resident of) SD Colony Srinagar got killed. The District Police administration Srinagar has informed that there was no deployment in the area. The matter is being investigated.”