Protest rocks Habba Kadal against CRPF "highhandedness"

Protest rocks Habba Kadal against CRPF ''highhandedness''

Locals accuse trooper of critically injuring local boy, CRPF spokesperson refutes allegation

A 14-year-old boy sustained serious head injury after a stone allegedly hurled by a CRPF trooper hit him in head at Habba Kadal area of summer capital here on Tuesday. The incident triggered massive protests in the area with people demanding removal of the CRPF bunker from the area 

An eyewitness said the boy identified as Muhammad Younis son of Bashir Ahmed of Habba Kadal was found lying unconscious near old Habba Kadal bridge. “He was vomiting blood following which locals immediately rushed him to SMHS hospital,” the eyewitness said.

At SMHS, mother of the injured boy, who was in tears, said she had asked her son to buy vegetables from market. “Suddenly I heard people screaming that my son has got badly injured. People told me that a CRPF man hurled a brick at my son’s head. My son had fallen flat on ground…,” she alleged.

A doctor attending to the injured boy said the boy has sustained head injury and has a blood clot in his head.  He was shifted to SKIMS Soura. The incident triggered massive protests in the area with women, youth and elderly demanding stern punishment to the “guilty CRPF man”. 

“The CRPF bunker is a big nuisance in the area. Since 2010, the CRPF men posted at the bunker have made life of people of Habba Kadal and adjoining areas a hell,” said Abdul Aziz, a resident. To protest against the incident, shopkeepers also downed their shutters in the area.

The CRPF, however, refuted the allegations saying the boy was part of a “group of five to six miscreants who were hurling stones at the CRPF bunker at Habba Kadal”.

“He (the boy) slipped while fleeing from the spot, resulting in injury to his head,” said CRPF’s Srinagar-based spokesman Sanjay Sharma. “The allegation that he (the boy) was hit by a brick thrown by a CRPF man are totally baseless,” he said. 

Senior National Conference leader and former MLA Habba Kadal Shameema Firdous however said that for past eight years she has been seeking removal of the CRPF bunker. “This bunker is a big problem for people of the area. I had met top officials of police and CRPF in the past and demanded removal of the bunker,” she said. “However, the previous regime didn’t pay heed to my demand and adopted a dilly-dallying approach. I urge Governor Satya Pal Malik to order for immediate removal of the bunker in larger interests of people.”