Court takes note of illegal confinement of stone pelters

Court takes note of illegal confinement of stone pelters

By NOOR-UL-QAMRAIN | SRINAGAR | 28 November, 2015
A probe has been ordered into the allegations levelled by the boys against police.
The Third Munsiff of Srinagar Court has directed Srinagar SSP to probe allegations levelled by nine Kashmiri youth against the police, while dispatching five of them to the Juvenile Home as they were minors. On Thursday, Judge Sunil Kumar passed the direction for a probe after the investigating officer from Khanyar police station of downtown Srinagar produced before him nine boys accused of stone throwing, seeking their remand for 10 days. The police had shown them arrested on 25 November 2015, but the accused boys told Kumar that they were arrested earlier and beaten up in lock-up. They levelled serious allegations against the police before the judge, prompting him to order a probe into the allegations by Srinagar SSP. The SSP is to file a status report to the court by 19 December.
The five minors who have been booked by Khanyar police station under the Unlawful Activities Act told the court that they had been framed and pleaded their innocence. Subsequently, the five minors identified as Basit Nazir, Feroz Sheikh, Hussain Bhat, Arafat Imtiyaz and Arsalan were sent to the Juvenile Home till 28 November as the court observed that from the case diary file of police, they were minors. The court also dispatched the four others to judicial custody instead of police remand as they pleaded that they would be beaten in lock-up as they were facing charges levelled against them by Khanyar police station. The Kashmir Bar Association has been fighting such cases of minors and other youth “involved” in stone-pelting. “As per law, the police should have produced the minors before the court within 24 hours of their arrest. They have been in illegal police detention for so many days,” advocate Mir Shafaqat Hussain told thsi newspaper, adding that the accused boys told the court that they were arrested two weeks ago by the Special Operation Group of J&K Police and handed over to Khanayar police station only on Thursday to produce them before the court.
“They told the court that they were interrogated and underwent third degree torture for days during their illegal confinement,” Shafaqat said. The parents of the minor boys were also present in the court room. Mehbooba Mufti had recently said in Srinagar that her party will scrap the Public Safety Act (PSA), stop bullets and pellets. “We will secure the future of the youth and try to save them from being arrested and lodged in lock-ups,” Mufti had said. Earlier, PDP president and MP of South Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said that their government had not arrested any minor in Srinagar and no stone-pelter was in Juvenile Home.

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