An argument with a police officer reportedly during a game of carom on a Srinagar street proved costly for Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik's teenaged nephew and three friends on Monday.
The four boys are in a city hospital with multiple injuries from shots fired by supposedly non-lethal pellet guns. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Malik's nephew Yasir Rafiq (17) is battling for life on a ventilator after sustaining pellet wounds in his intestines and his three friends are in an intensive care unit.
“The boys were playing carom and had an argument with a sub-inspector but eyewitnesses say some other police personnel came and fired from behind,'' Malik told HT.
A constable held responsible for firing at the boys has been suspended.
"Our purpose is to disperse people not disable them for life. No violation of orders will be accepted," said K. Rajendra, additional DGP in charge of law and order in the Valley. He also said the police would review the kind of weapons used to disperse mobs in Kashmir.
But the damage has been done. "He (Rafiq) had multiple injuries and lost a lot of blood. A team of doctors operated on him but he is still in a critical condition," said Dr Waseem Qureshi, Medical Superintendent of Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital.
Doctors in the city are aghast at the recent use of pump-action pellet guns by security forces touting them as non-lethal.
A senior doctor at a government hospital said multiple pellet injuries are as dangerous as ones caused by bullets.