Srinagar, March 17, 2011:Eyewitnesses said teenager Tufail Ahmad Matto had taken shelter in the Gani Memorial Stadium as the police battled some stone-pelters.
The man responsible killing Tufail Ahmed Matoo a tean ager in Srinagar has been identified.
A policeman, who allegedly fired a tear gas shell at teenager Tufail Ahmad Matto, was arrested after an identification parade in Srinagar on Wednesday, sources said.
The policeman was identified by a woman witness during the third identification parade in the case, a source added.
But the police did not seem convinced. “The person identified has never been on duty. He is a tailor with the police,” a top police official said.
Kashmir had been rocked by protests after 17-year-old Matto was killed by a tear gas shell fired by the police at Rajouri Kadal in the Old City on June 11, 2010.
Eyewitnesses said Matto had taken shelter in the Gani Memorial Stadium as the police battled some stone-pelters. He collapsed after a policeman fired a tear gas shell at him. The residents had rushed the unconscious teenager to hospital but he died on the way.
While the witnesses had all along blamed the police for the teenager’s death, the police had initially claimed the boy had been hit by a stone thrown by a protester. Subsequently, the police issued a statement saying that Matto had been murdered, and pointed the finger of suspicion at the men who had driven him to hospital.
The day after Matto’s death, the CRPF had allegedly beaten up a protester Muhammad Rafique Bangroo, 24, who died in hospital on June 19.
Bangroo had been protesting Matto’s death. On June 20, 19- year- old Javid Ahmad Malla was killed when paramilitary forces and the police opened fire on people mourning Bangroo’s death. These three deaths had triggered protests across the Valley leading to a five-month-long agitation, which claimed 112 lives.
Srinagar’s chief judicial magistrate had directed the police, who had lodged an FIR in the case only after a court’s direction, to complete the identification parade within 15 days.
The identification parade was completed in the presence of magistrate Shahbaz Ahmad Bodha.
During the trial of the case, Matto’s father alleged that the police had been coercing him to give up the case in exchange of “blood money”.(KGN)