2 juveniles among 11 others arrested for pro-freedom protest in Kupwara

SRINAGAR: Police in frontier district of Kupwara have arrested eleven persons including two juveniles for participating in pro-freedom protests.

The two juveniles have been kept with adults and beaten “ruthlessly” by police in Kupwara, a delegation of people including parents of the juveniles told GNS.

“Is J&K Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act functional in Kashmir and police duty bound to observe its rules? May be on paper but the ground situation appears to be completely different on ground,” the delegation asked.

The delegation said that police arrested the two juveniles from Muqam-e-Shahwali village of Kupwara on Friday afternoon following pro-freedom protests in the area.

Initially, the duo was lodged at Bazar Police Post in Kupwara and later shifted to Police Station Kupwara where they were allegedly been beaten up by the cops, the delegation said. The arrested boys have been identified as Danish Hussain Mir Peerzada (13) and Mohammad Aslam Mir (15).

Ghulam Mohammad Mir Peerzada, whose son Danish was one among the arrested minors, said that he was with his sister when police nabbed him. “My son and other boys who were held by police and they have been ruthlessly beaten by police in lock up,” Mir said, adding: “All responsibility about their safety lies with police.”

The delegation said that the arrested duo should have been taken to rehabilitation home instead of lodging them in police lock up. The delegation  alleged highhandedness on part of the police after Friday prayers, saying it were the cops who burst the tear smoke shells near the Masjid.

“Following the unprovoked tear gas shelling, youth took to streets and staged protest against police. The clashes continued intermittently till 6:00 am in the evening on Friday, police detained youth,” the delegation members added.

Meanwhile, senior citizens of the area have appealed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Deputy CM Nirmal Singh and DGP K Rajendra to look into the matter at an earliest and demanded release of the duo.

When contacted, Superintendent of Police, Kupwara, Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, said: “Whatever action is required to maintain law and order, we take it.” Asked about the allegation by parents that the juveniles were beaten up in police station in violation of the rules, he said, “Let us do our job and law will take its own course.”

Nine other arrested youth were identified as Ghulam Mohammad Mir of Muqam-i-Shahwali, Mohammad Salam Sheikh of Brambri, Mir Aubaid of Gund Gushi, Javid Chopan of Kunanposhpora, Waseem Malik of Gulshan Qasmi, Drugmulla, Showkat Payer of Sohipora, Reyaz Sheikh of Kunan Poshpora, Anees Khan of Mochipora, Handwara and Faizan Malik of Kupwara.

Police have registered a case under FIR number 149/2016 under sections 148, 149, 336, 427, 307 and 3PD Act against these youths including the juvenile duo.