A labourer was killed and a police constable injured when a 14-year-old boy opened fire from an AK-47 rifle in Marble Market near Trikuta Nagar here late last night.
Identified as Ishfaq of Gool in Reasi district, the boy had decamped with the service weapon of a police constable Badar Din who had come to the house of his sister, also a police constable, at Channi Himmat. The boy was working as a domestic help at latter’s house.
Pointing out that Badar Din was deployed as PSO with a Congress leader Zulfikar Ali, police said that Ishfaq fled along with his rifle around 7 pm when the constable went to the toilet at his sister’s house leaving the service weapon on a table outside. He boarded a matador and went to Narwal where he hired an auto and asked the driver to take him to Trikuta Nagar.
On finding his rifle missing, Badar Din immediately informed the police who alerted all the nakas. During their hunt for the boy, police came to know that he had boarded an auto from Narwal towards Trikuta Nagar and they started chasing him.
In the meantime, the auto driver noticed the boy carrying a rifle inside his jacket and became suspicious. He drove him towards marble market and jumped out of the vehicle, and ran away taking advantage of darkness.
As Ishtiaq did not know driving, he too came out of the auto but, on finding the police chasing him, he ran towards a labour colony and took refuge in a jhuggi. On finding a stranger intruding into their jhuggi at night, the children inside started crying.
He first asked them to keep quiet, but as they did not respond, he opened fire injuring their father Lamgua, 50, who had come here in search of job from Chatterpur in Madhya Pradesh. He also opened fire on the police party chasing him, injuring a constable Riaz Ahmed, PSO of SHO Channi Himmat police station.
After firing a few bullets, the boy threw the rifle and tried to escape through a nearby nullah. However, he was arrested by police after a hot chase, while the injured labourer succumbed to injuries at a hospital.
While Ishaq is being questioned to find out about his militant links, constable Badar Din too has been taken into custody. The shootout took place less than 24 hours after multiple attacks by terrorists killed 13 including eight Armymen and three police men in the Valley.