By ISHFAQ RESHI
Budgam: Police released a class 6 student of Aripanthan village in central Kashmir’s Budgam after his family, schoolmates and teachers of Al-Falah School and Gulshan Public School hit the streets on Monday.
The 11-year-old was handed over to his family after spending six days in police lockup. He was kept at Magam police station in violation of Juvenile Justice Act. According to the law, a minor has to be sent to Juvenile Home instead of police custody. However, no FIR has been registered against him as he was detained in place of his brother.
“The minor boy was detained by the police on Wednesday night during a raid in his home. His brother is absconding and he was detained in place of his brother,” said a student.
Police has registered a case against the minor’s brother, who is evading arrest, in the police station Magam.
“I was frightened and nervous. In custody I cried all the time. I never thought that I would be detained,” he told Kashmir Reader. “I fear that police might raid our home and detain me again,” he added.
The minor’s family said their son was “beaten, harassed and humiliated” in the custody. “We were also thrashed when we protested his illegal detention,” said the minor’s mother Misra Begum. “We visited the police station several times to persuade them to release him, but they refused on one or the other pretext”.
The students and teachers joined the family and other villagers to block the Magam-Beerwah road in protest. Boys and girls chanted slogans and were holding placards.
“Exams are going on and one of our student can’t write his papers because he is in custody. We are here to demand his release so that he could continue his studies,” said Ghulam Mohammad Mir, principal of Al-Falah school. Later, they dispersed peacefully after police released the minor.