At least four school going boys were among six youth detained after government forces– led by the Jammu and Kashmir police– conducted nocturnal raids in southern Pulwom district, sources told the Kashmir Dispatch on Friday.
A senior police officer said that the raids were carried in Dangarpor in the district’s main town, about 60kms from the disputed Kashmir region’s summer capital, after anti-government stone pelting protest a day earlier.
Students and other youth, the police officer said, after the Matriculation examination ended marched on the roads chanting anti-government slogans and hurling stones at the main police station in the town.
In Dangarpor, Kashmir Dispatch spoke to few locals, who confirmed the night raids, and said that four among the six youths were school going boys and three among them were appearing in the annual government school board examinations.
As many as 65,000 candidates are appearing in the annual examination in Kashmir. Dangarpor residents said Irfan Ahmed, Shakir Chat and Younis Dar had appeared for the board exam on Thursday. With examination for three subjects in the offing next week, the trio may miss the remaining examinations as legal process to release youth charged with anti-India protest are generally time-consuming and exhausting.
“I don’t know if he was pelting stones. We told police that many children reportedly pelted stones and but why was my son and few others arrested. The police has asked us to come in the evening,” Younis’ father Mohammad Ashraf told Kashmir Dispatch, adding: I hope he doesn’t miss his examination on Monday.
Khurshid Ahmad Khan’s house too was raided and his son Irfan was picked up. Khan told Kashmir Dispatch that they have ensured police that his son will not indulge in such protests in future. Irfan is yet to be released.
Five among the detained boys are minors as they are below 18 years of age. The identity of the sixth detained youth was not known yet. Dangarpor residents said Musaib, the fourth detained school boy, is a standard 9th student at a local school.
The senior police officer said that the detained boys were “habitual stone-pelters and were creating trouble” in the area.
Mohsin, one among the detained youth, works as a salesman in the district’s town.