Relatives of Irfan Ahmad Khosa, a Class IX student, have been making rounds of Rainawari police station here since Tuesday morning to have the 15-year-old released from lock-up.
Irfan is among more than 100 youths rounded up by the police for pelting stones in reaction to the killing of 17-year-old Tufail Ahmed following clashes between the police and protesters in Srinagar last week.
Irfan was sleeping when a police party headed by SHO Bashir Ahmad raided his house searching for his elder brother, Omar Ahmad Khosa.
The police said they had reports that Omar indulged in stone-pelting after protests broke out against Tufail’s killing. Locals allege the teenager was killed in police action.
“It was midnight on Monday. Some family members were watching television and I was reciting the Quran when the police party came, banging doors and windows. We rushed to open the doors,” recalled Irfan’s uncle Bilal Ahmad.
The uncle said that as Omar was not at home, the police picked up his younger brother and charge-sheeted him with rioting and stone pelting. “He (Irfan) is a school-goer. He has never indulged in stone pelting,” said Irfan’s uncle, who fails to understand the charge-sheet.
“We have approached the court and will apply for a bail,” Irfan’s uncle said.
On Thursday, the principal of Irfan’s school met the SHO, urging him to withdraw the charge-sheet and release him. “Irfan has exams. Any major charge against him will mar his career,” the principal pleaded before the police officer.
A large number of youths continue to be behind bars at Rainawari police station. This is evident from the rush outside.
“I have no information on how many are held and under what charges. You can get the details from the SSP’s office,” SHO Bashir said.
“We have made temporary arrests of 100 people, who were involved in stone-pelting. They have been detained for committing substantial offences,” said Srinagar SSP Javed Riyaz Bedar.