Belying its own claims that no minors had been arrested for stone-pelting,the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday released 22 youngsters,15 of them less than 15 years old and several even younger,two days ahead of Eid. Kashmirs Inspector General of Police (IGP) S M Sahai handed them over to their families in Srinagar. Six of the youngsters are orphans.
They were not involved in any serious offence. So we thought it is better to let them celebrate Eid with their families, Sahai said.
He also had a word of advice for the parents: Keep a watch on them (the youngsters)… Usually they bunk school on Fridays and Saturdays.
Sahai,along with Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar Ashiq Bukhari,said the youngsters had been picked up after they were identified in video footage throwing stones. Sahai even showed pictures of some of the released boys participating in the protests.
Among those released were 13-year-old Mohsin Majid and Burhan Nazir,who were produced handcuffed in court on Tuesday,provoking a rebuke from the court,and who were granted bail on Friday.
Another 13-year-old,Danish Ahmad,claimed to have been in detention for close to a month. Eight of the boys said they were 13,four claimed to be 14,while two were 15.
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