Tension gripped Mehdipatnam army garrison area of Hyderabad on Thursday following the death of an 11-year-old boy allegedly set on fire by jawans.
Sheikh Mustafauddin, who was found with critical burn injuries at Mehdipatnam in the heart of the city on Wednesday, died at DRDO Apollo Hospital.
The boy, a student of a madrasa, told a magistrate in his dying declaration that some army men poured kerosene over him and set him ablaze.
Army authorities have denied involvement of any military man in the incident.
"On investigation, it is found that this allegation is absolutely false and no army personnel is involved in this incident. The army condemns this act. All necessary assistance is being provided to the police authorities to carry out a detailed investigation to arrive at the truth," said a statement from the army authorities.
11-year-old boy set ablaze by ‘army men’ in Hyderabad dies
Mustafauddin's body was shifted to government-run Osmania General Hospital for autopsy.
The police have tightened security around the military area to prevent any untoward incident.
A resident of Siddique Nagar, Mustafauddin was allegedly called inside the garrison area by two military men. They allegedly beat him and later set him ablaze.
He sustained more than 80% burns and was found lying near the main gate of the garrison. The locals of Siddique Nagar rushed him to a private hospital and later to the DRDO Apollo Hospital.
A case of attempt to murder was registered against unidentified military men at Humayunagar police station. It will now be turned into a murder case.
The police have formed a special team to conduct the investigation.
Hyderabad police commissioner Mahender Reddy said the guilty would not be spared.
After Mustafauddin's death, locals assembled at the garrison gate and raised slogans against the army, demanding justice for the boy's family.
A protester who did not want to be named claimed this was not the first skirmish between them and the army. "We are subjected to many questions each time we pass through this area. They intend to drive us away from here."
Deputy commissioner of police (west zone) V Satyanarayana said, "The dying declaration points to some men in uniform. We are ascertaining the facts."
(With inputs from IANS)