Srinagar, February 20, 2013:In the aftermath of protests against hanging of Shaheed Muhammad Afzal Guru, Indian police have detained four minors in various areas of Shaher-e-Khaas.
Parents of these minors minced no words to accuse the police of illegally detaining their wards and harassing them during raids.
“My son is innocent. Police detained him without any evidence and have kept him in illegal custody,” said Muhammad Amin Najar father of a ninth class student Salman Amin of Nawab Bazar area of Shaher-e-Khaas here.
“On the intervening night of February 16 and 17, a large contingent of police barged into our house and ransacked our belongings. They also humiliated and harassed us,” Najar alleged.
He said the cops were looking for Salman who was not present in the house.
“We told the cops that Salman had gone to his maternal home. They arrested my cousin. On the next day, I took Salman to local Police Station and cops immediately detained him,” Najar said.
According to the Date of Birth Certificate of Salman, a student of Royal Public School, Chattabal, issued by the Births and Deaths Registration wing of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Salman was born on April 8, 1997. “He is less than 16-years old. Though we produced his Date of Birth Certificate before police, but they did not listen and still kept him under detention,” said Najar.
“He had gone to play with kids when stone pelting was going on in the area,” Salman’s mother said.
“Though police is yet to book Salman but his continuous detention in police station might have a bad impact on his mind. He is suffering from heart ailment and his detention might complicate his problem. My son cannot bear separation from me,” she said amid sobs.
Besides Salman, three other minors have been detained. Firdous Ahmad, uncle of a 10th class student (name withheld) of Nawab Bazar accused police of detaining him on false grounds.
“He was not part of protests or stone pelting. We had requested police to release him as his detention in lock-up may disturb him psychologically. But our request met with deaf ears,” he said.
“My nephew is studying in 10th standard and is barely 16 year old. But he has been detained continuously for three days,” he said.
The other boys detained by police include two minor brothers of Botabagh area. They study in 8th and 10th standard.
When contacted Superintendent of Police (SP) north city Tahir Saleem said some stone pelters have been taken into preventive custody.
‘We have not detained any minor. However, we have taken some stone pelters into preventive custody,’ the SP said