The Border Security Force (BSF) admitted one of its men was involved in the killing of a schoolboy in Srinagar last week, which had triggered massive outrage across Kashmir.
“An internal inquiry into the allegations of firing, which led to the death of Zahid Farooq Sheikh, revealed prima-facie the possibility of constable Lakh-vinder of 68 battalion being involved in the incident,” said Special Director General of BSF, P.P.S Sidhu. “He has been placed under suspension.” The constable has been handed over to the local police, Sidhu said.
Zahid (16) was shot near the Dal Lake on February 5. Eyewit-nesses said he was killed without any provocation by BSF personnel passing through the area.
The killing came at a time when Kashmir was already reeling under protests and strikes after a 14-year-old boy was killed by tear gas shell on January 31.
The police confirmed constable Lakhvinder had been handed over to them.
Zahid’s family, however, alleged the BSF was shielding an officer whom they charged with actually shooting the boy.
“Zahid’s friends said he was shot at by an officer,” said Shabir Ahmad, Zaahid’s cousin told HT. “We will be satisfied only when the eyewitnesses identify the constable as the culprit.”