AS restrictions on movement and communication continued in the Valley on Wednesday, the family of a 17-year-old youth, Osaib Altaf, alleged that he died after he jumped into the Jhelum river when he was being chased by security personnel in Srinagar.
The incident occurred on Monday. Altaf’s family said he had gone out to play with his friends. On their way home in the afternoon, Altaf, the youngest of four siblings, and his friends were on a footbridge over the river, when they were chased “by paramilitary personnel from both sides” of the bridge, his family said. The boys jumped into the river. Twenty minutes later, Altaf’s body was fished out.
“He didn’t know how to swim,” said his brother Suhail Altaf. “When they jumped into the river, the sand diggers rushed to help them, in their boats. While a few of them swam to the river bank, three were rescued by the sand diggers, but it took some time to bring out Altaf. He was rushed to hospital, where he was declared dead,” he said.
“He had no idea about what had happened. We don’t have a television or a radio at home,” said Altaf’s father Mohammad Altaf Marazi, a driver. “Some boys rushed to our home to inform us about his death,” he said.
According to residents, four persons were injured when security personnel stopped his funeral procession on Monday afternoon, and fired bullets and pellets.
At the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital, the casualty medical officer declined to comment. The local police station could not be contacted.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has been moved from Hari Niwas guesthouse to Cheshma Shahi guesthouse, after she was able to send a message out, asking her two MPs to resign from the Rajya Sabha. Former CM Omar Abdullah is at Hari Niwas guesthouse.