Srinagar: Massive clashes erupted in Srinagar’s Nowgam area Tuesday after a 16-year-old boy was crushed to death by a vehicle used by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Armed Battalion while on his way to tuition classes.
The boy was identified as Tehseen Nazir, a student of Candid Public School, where his father Nazir Ahmed works as a peon. Ahmed described Tehseen as “the light of his eyes” that had been brutally snatched away from him.
The incident took place at around 9:30 am Tuesday. People angered by the accident as well as the police not returning the body of the deceased youth set up barricades to block the road and engaged the police in violent clashes that continued throughout the day.
The clashes resulted in injuries to at least four people, including a woman, who were admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment. Hospital authorities told ThePrint the injured also included a 62-year old shopkeeper named Mohammad Yousuf, who was left wounded after a tear gas shell pierced through his thigh.
The J&K Police issued a statement, calling the death of Tehseen an accident.
“The road traffic accident happened when two vehicles, one of which belonged to Armed Police, collided, and consequently, two persons sustained injuries. The injured persons were shifted to hospital for treatment of injuries; however, one of the injured persons, identified as Tehseen Nazir of Nowgam, succumbed while the other person injured continues to receive treatment at the hospital and is stated to be stable,” it stated.
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Officials added that an FIR has been filed and an investigation has begun.
Meanwhile, residents alleged that the police, soon after the accident, took the boy’s body with them and chased away crowds violently. Tehseen’s mother, too, was allegedly beaten up, the family claimed.
Residents showed broken window panes of their homes, accusing the police force of engaging in “excessive and brute force”.
For Tehseen’s family, however, an inquiry into the matter seems to be of little value. When ThePrint visited Tuesday noon, the inconsolable family was still awaiting the body of Tehseen.
“I was going to work when I heard that a death had taken place nearby. At that time, I didn’t know my son had been killed. I saw crowds gathering at the spot, but I passed them and walked towards my school. Someone called me on my mobile phone sometime later. He told me that a boy had been killed in an accident and that his bag was lying on the road side,” Ahmed said.
“They had found a notebook in the bag and that is where they found out who had been killed. The notebook had a name written. Tehseen Nazir,” Ahmed said, breaking down.
His daughter and wife were not able to speak when ThePrint visited the family.
“He was the light of my eyes. They have snatched him away from me. His tiny body bruised and crushed, lying on the road side. How alone and how cold must he have felt in his last moments. My heart broke into a million pieces,” Ahmed added.
A woman relative of the family who lives nearby and did not want to be named claimed the police had caused damage to their homes.
“They killed an innocent boy and then entered our homes breaking everything in their way. We don’t have arms or stones; only Allah’s justice. I hope those responsible for the death meet justice,” she said.
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